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J.V.

Rosario

1
The Time Key

Chapter 1
The Time Key

F
our months ago, Isaac Cunningham saved the world from a race
of alien monster invaders, but other than few of his friends,
nobody really knew about it. So now after all the things he did
for the human kind, the twelve-year-old boy was living with another
foster-family, in the same Florida fern country. Other than Elisa and his
former foster-brother, Bobby, his friends at school didn=t know that
Isaac was the hero that defeated the beasts’ invaders.
The entire Earth was devastated after the Ttenbanis attended to
occupy the planet: cities were destroyed, landscapes were out-rooted,
mountains removed and many people were killed in the attacks. The
beastly aliens committed atrocities against humanity in less than
seventy-two hours before; Isaac and his trio of friends stopped them.
Four months later civilization came back on its feet; with the exception
of few almost everything came back to normal. And as everything was
being rebuilt, Isaac was put with another foster-family.
All the hopes he had of staying with the Gonzales family
vanished when Elisa father called Social Services, and asked them to
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take him and Uloe out of his house. So the two boys ended in the
custody of the State of Florida Social Services. While Bobby was sent
back to Miami after they were able to locate his parent between the city
reconstructions, which it looked as if another Hurricane Andrew had hit
again.
The boy that never smiles tried hard to keep himself awake in
Mr. Posh=s tedious history class. Isaac read the entire textbook the first
week of the odd school year, and he knew everything that was printed
in the pages of the heavy text.

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The Time Key

Posh=s class was the last class of the day, and the man rumbles
like a radio anchorman trying fill a void in the airwaves between
commercials. Isaac counted the seconds in the clock above the
classroom black board, he wanted to get out of there as soon as
possible, he heard from one of his friends that Uloe was in a fight again
at the elementary school across the street. And he wanted to rescue his
alien friend from any feather punishment.
The bell ring and every classroom pored into the large hall of the
middle school building; Peirson Middle-High School was the only school
in the county that contained the junior high and the high school all in
one campus. All the kids moved to the ramp in front of the school, in a
huge wave to the front building. Everyone acted like they were
supposed too, some couples hide in the building corner so they could
make out, others pushed and shoved and played around, the day was
over and many were going home.
Isaac didn=t board bus that day; he needed to go to the
elementary school where Uloe was placed after the invasion. He felt that he
needed to protect his new fostered brother, nobody understood him like he
could. Uloe wasn't a normal boy; he did not belong to this world of red necks

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and Mexicans= migrant workers kids put together in one place. The platinum
hair boy was not an Earth=s human; he was an alien from another world that
stays with Isaac after they defeated the Ttenbanis.
Isaac walked across the two-line highway that cut the town of
Pierson in two half to get to the elementary school in from of the Handy
way gas station. When he got inside the old building Mrs. Roman was
already waiting for him in her office, Uloe was sitting on the chair in
front of her desk.
ACom’on in!@ Mrs. Roman called to Isaac from her desk.
AWhat d= he do this time?@ Isaac said.
AYour brother here pushed a fellow student, I tried to call you
foster mother but I couldn=t reach her,@ said the school principal. ASo I
wrote her a letter about Uloe=s behavior in class and about the stories
he says about you.@
AWhat d= he do?@ Isaac asked.

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The Time Key

AAccording to his teacher, Uloe was telling something about, he


called you, Master. And a boy start making fun of him, you
know this had happened before. He pushed the boy on his face,
and started a quarreler inside the classroom. Isaac, I have no
choice but to suspend him from school,@ said the heavyset
woman, from the other side of the desk.
AOkay,@ Isaac sighted. AI understand. I=ll tell our foster-mother,
what happened.
Isaac and Uloe left the school ground; they missed their bus, so
they waited for the next Voltran shuttle. The sat on grass by the bus
stop in front of the Handy way convince store. Isaac did not want to talk
at that moment his thoughts where in other place and time, his parents'
old house. If only he and Uloe could be gone back in time with his
parents and live with them; he and his young friend didn=t deserve what
was happening to them.
The shuttle didn=t let them wait; they were the only people
inside the bus that afternoon. Uloe, as always, sat next to Isaac, as they
looked at the empty space inside the vehicle, none of them spoke a
word, and they let the ride take them to DeLeon Springs, where they

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J.V. Rosario

leave with their new foster-mother. Isaac walked as slow as he could to


get to the Sherimans= home; in front of the house Jimmie and his friend
Alan were riding their BMX bicycles. They were making long circles
around the paved road in front of the house, moving like two sharks in
the water waiting for their next victims.
Isaac hated both boys, they were Taylor=s seventh grade biggest
bullies, and one was his new foster-brother, the only boy he had ever
fought in school. Isaac didn=t understands how he ended up in Jimmie=s
house with his mother as him and Uloe new foster mother. Even Uloe
didn=t a favor opinion for these two boys either; they were hard to get
alone. Jimmie had a big frame; he was taller and stronger than Isaac, so
he was always trying to pick up a fight with him. Jimmie=s face was large
and flat, and was ornamented with a pair of large green eyes. In Uloe=s
mind Isaac was some how afraid of the boy.
AThere they are again,@ said Isaac, as if he knew that they were
waiting for him.
AWhat is wrong Master Cunningham,@ said the younger boy.
AUloe, please for the last time, don=t call me that, I ain=t your
Master!@
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The Time Key

AIn my planet we serve our Masters until we die,@ said the boy.
AOkay, okay . . . let=s go. This way . . . they hadn't seen us,@ said
Isaac, pulling Uloe by the arm, he was going to take a short cut and get
inside the house through the back porch door, so he could avoid the two
boys on their bicycles.
Isaac and Uloe hopped the backyard fence to get into the house
back door. The place was run like a pigpen, there were dirty sox all over
the floor, cereal droppings with milk stains dotted the carpet and toys
trailed the hall to other two foster children=s rooms. In the air there was
a sour odor, a musty smell that gave the headaches to Isaac. He
detested the place, especially when as a brown large roach crawls over
the walls of the kitchen.
Mrs. Sheriman sat on her lazy-boy-chair in front of the TV set
when Isaac and Uloe came inside the room. They went straight to the
refrigerator quietly. The woman was snoring and the sop-opera sound
bleared throughout the room. The two boys had to recruit to still food
whenever they could to stop the hanger from setting before dinner.
Jimmie=s mom had a lengthy body, she was bone and skin
mainly, her eyes were scary blue, too blue for anyone to like, and

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J.V. Rosario

meanness stare came with them. The woman was always coughing;
maybe it was because of her chain-smoking habit. The cigarette butts
were in every ashtray of the house; the sad thing was that Jimmie was
already smoking at school too.
Isaac didn=t sees how Jimmie came to have such a strong body,
when the woman was a toothpick comparing to him. It was maybe his
father, but Isaac never saw the guy, he was not in the picture. Jimmie
once told Isaac that his father left them when he was only four years old
and that he didn=t miss him. But Isaac never bought that; he knew that
Jimmie was still affected by the none-present of his father.
The two boys ransacked the refrigerator and went to their room.
The small quarters were the only place of the Sherimans house that was
cleaned and organized; the two roommates kept it that way.
AMaster, what is a suspension?@
AIt=s when you get kick out of school for a few days.@
AWhat is kicked out?@
AUloe,@ Isaac sighted, Ayou don=t have to go to school tomorrow
and Friday.@
AGood!@
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The Time Key

Isaac didn=t says anything else; he still had the letter from Mrs.
Roman in his pocket. He wasn't going to show it to his foster-mother.
But, he didn’t know what to do with Uloe. AMaybe, I should skip school
too,@ he said to himself.
AMaster, what is wrong with you?@ Uloe noticed that Isaac was
sad.
AI miss my parents,@ he said.
AWhat happened to them?@
AThey died in a car accident two years ago, two days before my
tenth birthday,@ Isaac said, looking at the empty space in front of him. AI
miss them and every time I see this place, it makes me want to . . .@
AWhat Master?@
AUloe when you=re goin= to stop calling me that?@
AYou are my Master,@ said the young boy.
ANo, I=m not, you are my brother now, call me Isaac.@
AI cannot. I am an Alittian, we know are places in the Universe, I
am supposed to serve you, and obey you.@
AAha, I gotch you,@ Isaac said with excitement.
AWhat is it Master?@

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Isaac gained him a good look this time, before he began to talk;
Ayou are supposed to obey me, yes or no?@
AYes.@
ASo I can command you to stop callin= me that?@
Uloe did not answer; he knew that Isaac was right. The alien boy
put a serious expression in his eyes; he also knew where Isaac was
coming from.
AI command you to stop calling me Master,@ Isaac said. AI
command you to call me by my first name only. Do you understand?@
Uloe moved his head in an affirmative gesture.
AOkay, Uloe, what=s my name now?@
AIsaac,@ he said.
AI also command you to stop fighting at school. Do you
understand?@
AYes . . . I- Isaac.@
AYes! You said it.@
The bedroom door opened, it was Jimmie followed by his best
friend Alan. AWhat=re you two geeks doin= here?@ He said.

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The Time Key

AGet out of here, Jimmie,@ said Isaac.


AWhat? Are you kissin=?@
ANooo!@ Isaac responded at the same time he got off the bed.
AYou two are queers,@ Jimmie said as he looked at Alan, ADo you
see them, sittin= together in the bed?@
AThey are . . . I didn=t know that,@ said the other boy with a
malicious look in his eyes.
AShut up, stupid,@ Isaac said; ready to strike one of them.
But Jimmie was stronger than he was; he pushed Isaac on the
bed and jumped on his torso in a quick wrestling move ready to twist his
head.
AGet off,@ Isaac screamed.
AYou know I never like you,@ Jimmie said with a menacing tone.
AI don=t know how my mother let you come to our house. That=s the
only thing that protects you from getting= you face arranges.@
AGet off of him,@ Uloe said, while Alan held him from getting
between the two fighting boys.
AMan, I want to hit you so bad,@ Jimmie said.

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J.V. Rosario

AJimmie, stop it!@ A female voice came out of the hall, ABoy; you
better get out off him.@ It was Mrs. Sheriman's voice. ANOW!@
Jimmie looked into Isaac eyes and then said in an intangible
whisper, AIt=s you lucky day, boy.@ The strong boy dismounted Isaac
carefully; he was on guard; he didn’t=t want Isaac to strike him without
warning.
Isaac did not do anything. One thing was good about Mrs.
Sheriman, Isaac thought, and that was that Jimmie obeyed her without
any reservations. The boy with the big face and green eyes worshiped
her then.
Uloe couldn’t understand why Isaac made attend to defense
himself against Jimmie; he was in away disappointed with him. He was
expecting him to strike back without any hesitation, but that did
happen. Uloe did not know that Isaac would never defend himself that
was how he functioned then; he needed to have a cause to make a
stand.

***

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The Time Key

Days passed and Uloe was allowed to go back to school. Mrs.


Sheriman used the boy to clean of the mess in the house; he did almost
all the work for her while she was the daytime TV.
Isaac spent is day in the library, reading books, he found out that
after his encounter with Aloe, the alien boy that recruited him to save
his planet, he could read ten times faster that he could before. And the
library was the least expected place for Jimmie to come and bother him.
School for Isaac became easy: math, science, languages,
sociology, and even PE were now too easy and at time were boring to
him, Especially Mr. Posh=s American History class. The man went on and
on over a topic, sometime he started talking about the Declaration of
Independence and ended on the making a statement about China=s
Emperor. And the worst part of it was that his class was the last period
of the day.
That last day of November, Isaac sat in his school desk, with his
eyes almost close, waiting for the bell to ring after a long day of boring
and stretching classes. Even though that school bored him, he rather be
there than with his new foster-mother. The alternative was worst than
seating through six tiring hours.

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He pulled his head up the desk and looked around the


classroom; Isaac wasn't the only student sleep. Mr. Posh was in one of
his monologues, talking about something that Isaac already knew; he
read about it some three weeks ago.
AMr. Cunningham,@ said the bold and pale man. Posh asked a
question about the material he was discussing. He fell that Isaac needed
to be awakened; so the teacher tried to embarrass him with the
question.
AWhat?@ Isaac said as he pulled his head up, while the other
students giggled.
AOh, you didn=t hear the questions,@ said the man, mocking the
boy voice tone.
ASorry, I was trying to keep myself awake,@ Isaac responded with
sarcasm.
AOkay, when was the Declaration of Independence
signed?@Asked Mr. Posh, he thought that Isaac would never guess
something easy.

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The Time Key

AOh, please I thought you had a more challenging question,@


Isaac responded.
ACan you answer it?@
A4th of July 1776.@
A. . . and the constitution?@
ASeptember 1787, no specific day delegates took their time,@
Isaac responded.
AWhen did Thomas Jefferson die?@ Posh never expected Isaac to
answer the question.
AIn July 4, 1826, he died two hours before John Adams,@ he
responded. The whole classroom went quiet; all the other students
looked at the old teacher, who was in complete amazement.
AHow?@, he was going to say. AWhen and where did Lee
surrender to Ulysses Grant?@
AIn April 9, 1865 at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia,@
Isaac smiled as he answered the question.
AHow do you know that?@
The bell rang, and Isaac did not answer the last question; he
stood up as everyone looked at him. Mr. Posh observed the boy going

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through the class door; this wasn't the same boy he knew a year ago he
knew too much.
Since Isaac came back to school, he hadn't scored lower than
perfect grades in any of his tests, assignments or homework. Form an
>F= and >D= student before the Alien=s invasion, Isaac, now, was an >A=
average student in all his subjects. His teacher couldn=t understands this
change; they attributed it to the trauma of the lost of his parents and
then his foster parents during the alien attack.
In a strange way Aloe, his alien friend, had linked his mind with
his, and now Isaac=s intellect overpasses any other students in his class
and in the school. His mind was sharp, he could read fifty times faster
than his friends could and he could retain any information with just
being mention by the teacher only one time.
After the bell rang, Isaac found himself on the school bus ramp
in Uloe=s company; again he was suspended from school. Someone
called Isaac names and he defended his honor, so Ms. Roman sent him
home early. But Mrs. Sheriman couldn=t picks him up early; so the
school sent the boy home with foster brother.

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The Time Key

Jimmie and his friend Alan were taking the same bus that
afternoon. The three other boys, members of their Pouf Warner football
team, surrounded them; to Isaac they were the school bullies. Jimmie
was their leader; he thought that they could do anything they wanted in
school and in their neighborhood. Isaac tried to stay away from them as
much as he could, and was teaching Uloe to do so too
The bus drive was in her second day in the job and her didn=t
have control of the five boys that terrorized the other passengers inside
the vehicle. They hit, spitted and intimidated their victims with the
most opulent manner and no one was able to stop them. Isaac thought
that the driver was afraid of Jimmie=s gang, and with good reason, the
little woman looked more like a stick in driver=s uniform. She could
provably take the role of the flying nun without the need of special
effects.
After making a series of stops, the muster vehicle route was to
take the kids from Pierson, where Taylor Middle-High was located,
through highway 17 and turned in Emporia and continued on the Old
County road 414, crossing twice the railroad tracks. The conductor
made her usual stop in front crossing; she put the bus in neutron and

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opened her door to listen for any train on the track. But she failed to
shut the students' noise inside the vehicle large cabin; Jimmie=s gang
was in a full swim at this moment.
ARailroad,@ she shouted as with that she was going to magically
shut them up.
The noise was the same, and the little woman proceeded to take
the school bus across the track, with any eventuality.
AUloe, what happened?@ Isaac asked the young boy.
AUloe, pushed Kenneth Broussard,@ the boy responded without
any emotion on his face. Uloe does not like school; it is a waist of time.@
AYeah, I know what yo= mean!@ As Isaac said that a crunched
piece of paper landed on his lap, Jimmie=s gang was having a throwing
contest; they were picking on a chunky boy that sat beside the school
driver.
AMaster Cunningham . . .@
AAh, yo= promised!@
AForgive me, Isaac,@ Uloe said, AWhy is your planet, does not
shear knowledge the way Alittian do?@

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The Time Key

AWe don=t know how to do that!@


The school bus made several stops before it was ready to
crossed railroad tracks again. The driver failed again to keep her crew
quiet before they crossed over metal lines.
She opened the door, but she couldn=t hear anything on the
track the kids were too loud. Jimmie was shouting to a boy on the dad,
AYou want a piece of me!@ as he opened his arms in menacing way, it
looked as if he was going to hit the boy.
The driver stopped and turned off the school bus right about
when its front two tired were on the railroad track. Then she
abandoned her post and ran as quickly as she could to the back. And
then she pulled Jimmie=s right arm toward her trying to stop him from
hitting the boy in the back seat.
ADon=t touch me, woman,@ he said as he pushed her away.
ABoy, I=m goin= to write you up, and you will never ride this bus
again,@ the little lady said.
A general gap came out of the other passengers; some made >O=
shape with their mouths. In the commotion nobody noticed that a train
was approaching toward them, on the tracks.

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AJimmie, stop,@ Isaac said.


AWho the heck are you?@ Jimmie said, with an angry tone.
AYou=re hurting him, and now you goin= to get in more trouble if
you don=t stop. What=s your mother=s gon= say?@ Isaac said; standing
from behind a group of boys all excited about what was going on.
From where Jimmie was standing he could see that it was Isaac
that was trying to stop him from getting in more trouble.
ADon=t bring my mother to this!@
AShe=s goin= to find out anyhow,@ a girl said in the back of the
bus.
AShut up!@ Alan shouted at her.
ADon=t you tell me to shut . . .@
AWAIT,@ someone said, Awhat=s that sound?@
AIt=s a train,@ screeched the bus driver as she ran to the driver
seat.
The train light was visible to all of the kids on the right side of
the school bus. The long vehicle engine sounded much closed, some

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The Time Key

four hundred meters away from the bus. Its loud and deep whistle
enunciated the coming of the monstrous machine.
The lady drive fell on the main alley floor as she tried to get to
the driver=s seat, half of the student inside the muster vehicle froze,
while other began to move to the emergency exist. Isaac looked around
for Uloe, who was pushed by one of the running children to the floor.
Jimmie, his friend Alan and the boy that he was hit on the seat were
paralyzed in the middle if the bus.
The train was almost over the school bus and only a few kids
were completely out of the stocked vehicle.
AMaster Cunningham, use the TIME KEY,@ Uloe shouted.
Isaac didn=t answer, this time; he pulled from his pocket a fact
pen and pointed at the incoming train. The train kissed the side of the
school bus making an inward indentation on the bus large cabin.
Everything happened in less than a second; the train pushed and
dragged the yellow bus forward, making a tremendous sound as the
metal rough the metal.
The boys and girls in the direct path of the train were flown
away, with broken bones and skulls, and blood spreading against the

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walls of the shattered vehicle. And between them, Alan and Jimmie
were splattered alone with others against the glass and metal ramparts.

Chapter II
Time Square

23
The Time Key

I
nside the vehicle front seats, the driver was mangled by the sudden
impact, while Isaac and Uloe stood immobile from all damage; the
fat pen emitted a white bean that opened a wormhole in front of
the two kids before the train hit the yellow bus. The two boys jumped in
the between opening, and like a vacuum, they were sucked through it.
They were thrown out the side the vehicle on the asphalt some thirty
seconds after the huge collision.
Jimmie and the Alan boy were all inside the bus, dead, alone
with other fifteen other kids and the bus driver. To Isaac it wasn't easy
to look at. In the other hand Uloe didn=t move, it as if his feelings were
gone out of his body.
Isaac didn=t understand how they ended out of the vehicle
without any scratches while everyone was inside died. He only
understood that the instrument in his hand had saved him and Uloe
from a fatal crash; somehow the time and space didn=t apply to him in
that moment. He watched everything transpired in front of his eyes
from some twenty paces away.
From inside the bus loud moans were coming, the train
conductor and his people ran outside the train to see what they could

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J.V. Rosario

do to help the poor souls inside the bus. But Isaac didn=t run to try to
save anyone, he and Uloe stood some thirteen feet away from the crash.
Isaac was thinking in what to do next; he remembered what Aloe told
him about the fat pen in his right hand. Aloe called it the Time Key, and
even though that Isaac never used it before he knew its purpose. He
carried it around his neck since Aloe; his alien friend gave it to him some
six months ago. Isaac never used it before, in a way he was afraid to try
it before, but this time it was an emergency, the lives of fifteen of his
friends were at state.
AWhat=re we goin= to do?@ he asked Uloe.
AI don=t know master, if you save them you will save James
Sheriman and his friend Alan Hilly,@ Uloe said, Aand they are not worthy
of the favor.@
AI know!@ Isaac responded with a smile, something snapped in
him them. AI have the power,@ he then mumbled between his teeth.
Uloe didn=t understand what Isaac just said, his purple eyes
where fixed on the crash and what people were doing to save the
mangled group of survivors.
AIsaac Cunningham, what is in your mind?@
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The Time Key

AI don=t know,@ Isaac responded to the boy.


AAre you going to save them?@
AI have too!@
AHow?@
AThat=s what I don=t know,@ the all-American boy said, with a
curious expression on his face. AIf I go back to the past what would
happen? Am I goin= to be there twist, inside the bus and outside?
What=s going to happen? How long back should we go, Uloe?@
AI don=t know,@ Uloe responded as he looked at the rescue
attends, Athe more time past, the more damage you will make to the
space time continuum.@
AHow is that?@
ATime gives us choices, every second we move into the future
more events happen in the Universe, it=s not only here that time moves
forward, Isaac.@
Isaac understood well what Uloe tried to tell him, whatever he
was going to do he needed to do fast. AOkay,@ he then said, Alet=s do it.@
AWhat are you going to do?@

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J.V. Rosario

AI think I know what to do!@ Isaac pointed the fat pen to the
open road in front in the mangled bus.
AWhere are we going?@asked Uloe.
AI set the time key, ten minutes into the past,@ Isaac responded,
his face showed a disconcerting expression.
AAnd then what? What are we going to do?@
AI don=t know! I never did something like this, Uloe. It=s my first
time, let=s get inside the opening and will see.@
Isaac held Uloe=s hand, and moved him to the threshold of the
time portal. AAre you ready?@ he shouted.
A vacuum of a source formed in front the two boys; it was more
like a wind tunnel that anything else. Isaac and Uloe stood still but
ready to hop inside of the space and time abnormality. The older of the
two boys looked at his friend and began to count a count. AOne . . . two .
. . and . . . THREE,@ he shouted.
It felt as if their bodies were deluded in water.

***

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The Time Key

The boys landed on the ground in the same spot that they
occupied before but ten minutes behind in time. Isaac and Uloe were
on their knees on the same paved county road where the railroad track
connected with it. Both boys felt lightheadedness as they tried to stand
up from the ground.
AWhat=s goin= on?@ Isaac said, shaking the dizziness inside his
head.
Uloe didn=t answer; he was still on his knee trying to stop him
from spinning around.
The mangled school bus was not there anymore, and the track
was clear of the two crashed vehicles. Around the boys nothing was
moving, no cars or trucks moved through the lonely via. The road was
unimportant, a lonely undisturbed piece of Florida paradise. Green pine
trees covered both side of the railroad track and the two-lines-road, a
great contrast marked the black tar that made up the hard way where
the boys landed after they came through the time portal.
Isaac helped Uloe to stand up; the two boys gained control of
their senses, and they where ready to provide with the self-impost
mission.

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AIsaac . . . how are we going to do this?@ said Uloe, he still


uncomfortable in calling his Master by his first name.
Isaac looked around before he gave an answer to his friend, his
senses were off in a way; he didn=t know if they moved back in time or
not. He, then, took a good look to the readings the fat pen was emitting
on the small screen.
AIf I=m reading this well, we are back in time some ten minutes.
And the school bus hadn't yet crossed the railroad track,@ he said.
AYes, I understand that!@ Uloe said, while he pulled Isaac=s jacket
sleeve. AHow are we going to get to the vehicle?@
AThe what?@
AThe vehicle, Isaac! How are we going to stop it, before it
crashed against the train?@
AThe school bus,@ Isaac said slowly without looking at the kid
next to him. He was thinking, planning a course of action, but still he
didn=t know how to proceed. Doubts fused his head. What if he was
inside the bus too? That afternoon he took the bus with Uloe and the
rest of its occupants, so they were there too, moving to this junction in
time where Jimmie provoked another student inside the bus and the
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The Time Key

driver stopped the vehicle flat on the railroad track while the train was
coming. He needed to stop the sequence of events or it was going to be
their end.
AWhere is the bus right now?@ Uloe then asked.
AThat=s it. Uloe you are a genius!@
Uloe=s face expressed satisfaction, he knew that to Earth=s
standard the two boys were genius.
AFollow me,@ said Isaac as he began to walk the roadway, he
moved into the bus directions.
AWhere we=re going?@
But Isaac didn=t answer; he was walking a fast pace on the
county road, almost in the middle of the road.

***
The school bus drove steadily through the Emporia railroad
crossing off the highway 17; five minutes away from where Isaac and
Uloe walked in its direction. Inside the bus Jimmie and Alan harassed a
boy on the seat in front of them, while some of their Puff Warner league

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J.V. Rosario

friends watch eagerly, they wanted to see a fight. And in front the seats
of the bus and behind the driver Uloe and Isaac sat together.
Now there were two Isaacs and two Uloes, two of them were
running in the bus direction, trying to make on of the stop bus, where
three of his classmates were going to step out of the vehicle. While inside
the vehicle, and unaware of what was going on, the other Isaac and Uloe
posted on their seats waiting for the ride to be over.
AHurry Uloe, there=s only one stop before the railroad track
crossing,@ Isaac shouted, holding Uloe=s hand while they ran together in
the middle of the road.
Inside the bus the boys' harassment was climbing to a pick, the
puff Warner boys were pushing and hitting around everyone that was in
front of their seats. From the distance Isaac could hear the screaming
inside the muster yellow vehicle.
AThere it is,@ Uloe said as he pointed forward.
AI see,@ Isaac responded.
AWhat are you going to do?@
AI=m playing by ear,@ said Isaac.
AWhat is that mean?@

31
The Time Key

ANever mind!@
The bus=s yellow lights began to flash as it began to reduce its
speed. The driver followed the proper procedures to stop the school bus
on the correct place, where two students dismounted the transport. The
red stop sign extended off the vehicle=s body as it broke its speed to make
a full stop on the spot. Isaac and Uloe caught up with the vehicle as it
rested on the road while the Findley sisters disembarked through the
accordion door.
AWhat?@ said one of the sisters as she looked at the Isaac coming
through the door. She thought at that point that she just saw him a
second ago; he was sitting on the first seat with the little boy.
The girls' mouth dropped, they wanted to say something, but
Isaac didn=t give them a chance. The driver did a rough turn to look at
the boys behind her, they were identical; the two boys that just came
through the door and the once that were sitting on the first seat.
AIsaac,@ said Isaac, calling the attention to the boy on the first
seat.

32
J.V. Rosario

The boy seating on a dark olive seat opened his mouth to say
something but, nothing came out, he was as surprised as the rest of the
bus= occupants.
AWhat=s goin= on?@ said Jimmie Sheriman. The harassment had
stopped by that time, all the boys and girls inside the bus got completely
quiet; they looked at the two Isaacs and the two Uloes with an odd
expression on their faces.
AShut up Jimmie,@ both Isaacs said at the same time, Jimmie
didn=t say anything else. The four boys dressed alike and looked as if
someone did a carbon copy of the two boys sitting in front of the school
bus.
AIsaac, listen to me,@ said the Isaac standing up, Adoesn't let this
bus cross the railroad track until the after the train pass.@
AWhy?@ asked the Isaac that was sitting on the first seat.
ASomething is goin= to happen, please don=t let this bus cross the
railroad track, if you don=t, all this people will die,@ said Isaac
AHow did you get here?@ Isaac asked the boy standing in front of
him.

33
The Time Key

AYou know,@ the other Isaac responded while showing him the
little fat pen on his hand.
AI see,@ he replied as everyone looked at the two boys conversing.
AIsaac, promise me that you would let it happen,@ said Isaac.
AOkay, I promise . . .@ Isaac said to his contra part. And as he
voiced those words, something began to happen to the two boys in front
of him. Their images began to evaporate in the thin air as if they didn=t
have any substance, their skins turned translucent. The standing pair
became transparent, all the students in the bus could see through them as
if they were looking through a glass window door. Uloe and Isaac
smiled at the two boys sitting, with an odd expression.
A girl, watching the event, shrieked a high peach sound, as if she
just saw a pair ghost. Then after all the students in the bus gadded in
unison tone, as if the air in the room was gone.
AWhat happened with them?@ said the lady bus driver.
AThey vanished,@ said a voice from behind Isaac=s seat.
AWhat-ta-heck?@ was the only thing that Jimmie asked his friend
Alan, who was so confuse that he did not want to respond his best
friend=s question.

34
J.V. Rosario

AIsaac who was that?@ the driver said.


Isaac didn=t answer immediately; he looked at Uloe for any
signal. But the little boy was as confuse as everyone else.
***
The days that followed became very uncomfortable for Isaac and
Uloe, everyone at school knew about the incident in the bus. And
everyone began to ask questions about it, even the Taylor=s Principal, Mr.
Smith, promised Isaac and Uloe to investigate the episode. The sheriffs'
office sent Elisa=s dad to investigate what happened that afternoon. The
school bus driver refused to drive the bus again; she didn=t want to drive
the vehicle as long as Isaac and Uloe were assigned to the same route.
The only good thing that came out of the whole incident was that
Jimmie didn=t bother Isaac for the next two weeks. In fact no one spoke
with him anymore; he became a total outcast inside the school grounds.
Every time he walked inside the library or the launch room people
observed him as if he was a rear bird.
Isaac didn=t understand what happened, why he and Uloe doubles
showed up in the school bus that afternoon. He didn=t have an
explanation for it; the only clue he inferred of the whole incident was the

35
The Time Key

fat pen he carried on his necklace. The one that Aloe gave him the day
he when back to his planet. No even Uloe knew what happened then,
Isaac thought that he was not helpful with the responds he gave him
when he asked for an explanation.
Two weeks after Isaac=s school bus was delayed in coming to
pick everyone on the ramp that was going to DeLeon Springs.
Uncomfortable with all the looks that he was getting, Isaac went inside
the school media center to check out a book. He was looking for
something about time traveling, in his mind the whole incident was about
that, but Uloe never admitted that it was. So, he became obsessed with
the idea of time traveling, AWhat other explanation is there?@ he mumbled
to himself.
AExplanation to what?@ a girl=s voice said from behind.
The girl startled Isaac; he turned to see who was talking, and then
said, AElisa, don=t do that.@
ASorry, I didn=t mean too,@ she responded, with a smile on her
face. She looked taller than him, her bands were gone, her hair was
parted in the middle and some acne was showing. They did not speak to
each other seemed her father took Isaac and Uloe to the Children=s Home

36
J.V. Rosario

Society, in a way Isaac was mad at her dad. He and Bobby wanted to
stay together with her family, but Mr. Gonzales didn=t like the idea of
taking care of three other children that weren't his.
AI heard what happened,@ she said.
Isaac went blank; he didn=t know what to say. AWho told you,
Jimmie and your friend Alan,@ Isaac said with a gnashing your teeth tone.
AEveryone is talking about it,@ said she.
AAnd now you to laugh of me,@ he said.
AIsaac, why are you acting that way? Don=t you remember that it=s
me?@ she noted. AI went with you to the alien moon. I=m your friend!@
Isaac remained quiet, he stared at her, his dark blue eyes looked
inside hers; he glanced for some kind of sincerity on her part. AI=m sorry,@
he finally said. AI feel like I=m public enemy number one lately.@
ATell me what happened,@ Elisa said.
ANobody had told you,@ he responded, with an ironic tone in his
voice.
ANo, you tell me!@
AWell I don=t know what really happened,@ Isaac began telling his
story. AMe and Uloe were sitting in the bus, behind the driver, and when

37
The Time Key

we stopped to let the Findley girls on their bus stop. A boy like me,
Elisa, he was identical, came into the bus and said to me not to let the
bus crosses before the train gets the railroad crossing. Then he
vanished, I mean they vanished, Uloe was there too. I mean someone
that look like Uloe.@
AWhat else d= they say?@
ANothin' else, just that. I couldn=t believe it, it was like being in
the Twilight Zone,@ he said.
AThe what?@
AThe Twilight Zone, Rod Sterling, you never watch it?@
ANo!@
ANever mind, that=s how it happened,@ Isaac finally said.
ADo you think that it was you?@ she then asked.
AI don=t know how but I think he was. They even wore the same
close we were wearing, and he had,@ Isaac made a pause and looked
around inside the library, and the whispered, Athe time key.@
Elisa looked around too, then said to him, AWhat=s that for,
Isaac?@

38
J.V. Rosario

AAloe called it the Time Key. He said that it was used by the
Queen to look into the past or the future. But I don=t know how to use it
yet, and I=m not sure if I should use it.@
AThat=s weird,@ she said.
AWhat=s weird?@
AThat you wouldn't use it.@
AWhy?@
AI know you Isaac Cunningham; you will use it if the situation
demanded.@
He didn=t answer; Mr. Smith came into the library and told the
students that the bus was coming and that they needed to get ready to
board it.
AI got to go,@ Isaac said.
AIsaac, be careful,@ she said as he began to leave the library.
The new bus driver was aware that something-strange
happened two weeks ago in his school bus, so when he saw Isaac
boarding his bus gave him a penetrating stare. Isaac ignored the fat
man that could hardly button his white shirt uniform. Since the incident,

39
The Time Key

Jimmie and his puff Warner friends avoid any contact with him. Nobody
wanted to talk to him, they didn=t know that it was because of him that
they were still alike, Isaac changed the past so they could still have a
chance of life. And they ignored him like a sick dog that no one wanted
to pet.
Isaac thought at this critical point in his life that the only friend
he had were Uloe, Elisa and Bobby his former foster-brother. But they
had grown apart from each other, Bobby went back with his real parents
to Miami, and he didn=t hear from him for about four months. Elisa
didn=t take any of her class together, and her school bus ran in another
direction. On the other hand he was lucky that Uloe was put in the
same foster-home with him, although he was having a hard time with
the kids at school. Isaac missed his family more than ever; he
remembered all the fun things he did with his dad, and all the good
things his mother made for him.
That evening after school, Isaac lay in bed staring at the ceiling,
he wanted to turn the past around but he didn=t know how. He gave
thoughts to the school bus incident, and tried to figure out how could
that happened. The other Isaac and the other Uloe had the same

40
J.V. Rosario

clothes as they did in that brief moment in time. AThey were us,@ he
mumbled to himself.
AWhat did you say?@ asked Uloe from the top bump-bed.
Isaac took sometime to answer back to his alien friend, ADo you
know what happened in the school bus?@ he then said to Uloe.
AMast . . . Isaac,@ began to say Uloe. AI do not know what to say, I
was as surprised as you.@
AI think that something happened and then you and I came back
to warn us about it and when I agreed to not let the bus cross the
railroad crossing before the train passes, I changed the future or the
past I ain=t sure. And this is the key of everything;@ he showed the fat
pen to his alien friend
AMaster . . .@
AAha! You promise . . .@
A . . . Isaac,@ Uloe said, Athe King said that you should be careful
in using the Time Key.@
The door opened and Jimmie showed up through the frame; he
was humbled, after the bus incident the big face boy was careful in
dealing with Isaac and his brother Uloe. Even though he still hates Isaac,
41
The Time Key

he wanted to comprehend what happened with their two doubles that


showed up at the bus stop.
Jimmie didn=t say a thing, he just looked at them from the door.
It seemed as he wanted to say or ask something to Isaac, but the words
wouldn't come out.
AWhat do you want?@ Isaac broke the silence.
A sour expression came was all over Jimmies face, as if he
wanted to jump on Isaac and bust his face. AI want to know . . .@ the boy
didn=t finish.
AYou want to know, what?@ Isaac said.
AYou know!@
AMast- I mean Isaac,@ Uloe then said, AI think he is talking about
the school bus.@
AYeah, what happened there? I want to know,@ said Jimmie.
AI can=t answer that,@ said Isaac.
AWhy?@
ABecause, I- I don=t know what happened, Jimmie.@
AYou, the other you . . . showed yo= somethin=, like a fat pen. I
saw it, everyone saw it.@

42
J.V. Rosario

Isaac took a second to answer back, AI don=t know what you=re


talking about.@ But Isaac knew well what was Jimmie referring too, the
time key, but he didn=t trust him.
AYou know!@ Jimmie pointed at them; he voice had a threatening
tone. Uloe stood up from his bed and walked to sit with Isaac.
AWhat do you want from us?@
AI want to know, what happened.@
AWe don=t know,@ Uloe said.
AOh, yes you do,@ Jimmie said. AI=m goin= to find out, believe me.@
The boy walked away from the door frame leaving the Isaac and Uloe
wondering what he was going to do next.
AMas . . . Isa- Isaac, what do you he is going to do?@ asked Uloe
AI don=t know, and I don=t care,@ Isaac lay back on his bed as he
said that. But in his mind he knew that Jimmie was going to go away.

***

43
The Time Key

The time key was hanging from a neckless around Isaac=s neck.
The device sometimes made noises, similar to the sound of cellular
phone=s buzz as if someone was calling from another time and space.
Isaac ignored them, but in occasions he was looked at by his teacher as
if he should turn off the stupid phone. He never acknowledged that he
had a phone; he ignored his teacher=s request, especially Mr. Posh=s.
Isaac never could bring himself to be awake in his. Arthur Posh looked
older than he really was, his battle against diabetes took a hold of his
body, and many thought of his mind. From a wheelchair he gave his
rambling speeches. Posh thought that he was lecturing but his students
were all asleep.
Then, and out of the blue, a buzzing sound came out of Isaac=s
body. They all jumped, likewise Mr. Posh, who was sitting on his chair,
achieved some elevation when the sound over took the room.
AWhat is that dame sound?@ the old grouch asked his class.
Everyone put their eyes on Isaac; they knew that the sound
came from him. He tried desperately to fake that he didn=t anything to
do with the dreadful sound, but the buzzing failed to stop.
AYoung man, you better stop that,@ said Posh.

44
J.V. Rosario

Without saying a word Isaac stood up, and left the classroom as
Jimmie, Elisa, Alan and other students watch him leaving the room. This
was the only class they had together.
Isaac ran out of the room to see what was going in on with the
device. He pulled the neckless out of his T-shirt to look at the fat pen. A
green light was flashing on its button part, in a strange way Isaac knew
that a message was coming through the device.
Inside the classroom Mr. Posh continued with his rambling
lesson as if nothing happened. Elisa was eating herself alike, for
knowing what was going on with Isaac. Curiosity was also eating Jimmie
away; he knew that Isaac had something to do with the bus incident.
AMr. Posh,@ Jimmie said. ACan I go to the restroom?@
Posh looked at him, and smiled, AYou may go to the restroom,
boy.@
Isaac was already inside the boys' restroom, the only place he
felt that he could be let alone to answer the strange call. He went inside
a cubical and sat on the toilet seats. The aluminum colorless cylinder
had eight dents around the mid section of the device, and as it

45
The Time Key

happened before he remembered what to do with them. A light was


blinking on what appeared to be the button of the pen.
While Isaac was in his cubical the restroom=s door opened
guardedly, Jimmie showed his head through the door crack. He didn=t
see anyone at first, maybe Isaac was there, but then he heard someone
speaking. It was Isaac=s voice.
Inside the cubical the all-American boy pushed the last key, and
message was coming through a small opening in front of him. A round
shape rupture broke through the thin air inside the restroom cubical.
And something was coming through the portal, a face with a pair of
shoulders and arms.
AJesus,@ said Isaac pulling back inside the toilet cubical.
ADon=t be afraid,@ said a voice. A voice that Isaac could
recognize, it was his own voice.
AWho are you?@
AIt=s me, it=s you,@ said the voice again.

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J.V. Rosario

AI don=t understand, what are you?@ Isaac then said to the Isaac
inside the opening.
AI don=t have enough time to tell you,@ said the other Isaac. AYou
can=t do what you=re planning to do, it=ll have greater consequence for
you and for . . .@
AWhat=re you doin= there?@ someone said from the other cubical,
it was Jimmie who was standing on the toilet looking at the strange
conversation.
AJimmie, get out of here . . .@
The portal began to shrink, ANo wait, you need to tell me.@ Isaac
couldn=t get the whole message.
Jimmie witnessed the whole event from his high position over
Isaac toilet cubical. He then got scared and jumped back to the floor and
moved out of the cubical, he was shaking and in a way he was mad too.
AWhat=re you doin= there?@ said Jimmie.
Isaac got out of his cubbyhole, and looked straight to Jimmie=s
eye, AWhat do you want?@
AI want to know what=re you doin= there?@

47
The Time Key

AIt ain=t your business, Jimmie go away,@ Isaac said to the flat
face boy.
AYou=re doin= something weird, and I ant to know. I saw the hole
and I saw your face inside it. It was you, I know it. You have somethin= . .
. that, that . . .@
AJimmie, I can=t tell you what it is,@ Isaac=s shout bounced on the
restroom walls.
Jimmie assumed a defensive position with his fits and his stand
appeared as if he was ready to pick up a fight with Isaac in that very
moment. AYou better tell me what your doing or else.@
AIt ain=t your business, stupid,@ Isaac shouted again.
AI=m goin= to kick your . . .@
But at the same time Jimmie said that the restroom door
opened, and a deep voice said. AWhat in the heck are you two doing
here?@
Both boys looked up to see who was standing behind them. Mr.
Smith=s hands were placed on his waist, his bifocal hand from his nose as
his pulled back to look at the two youngsters. AI=m waiting,@ the man
said.

48
J.V. Rosario

Isaac didn=t say a thing, his eyes opened wide, he didn=t like the
man and in a way he was afraid of him. In the other hand, Jimmie was
one of the Principal=s pals, he used to play for him in one of the Puff
Warner football team and it was a given that he was going to play for
the school.
AWell, I=m waiting for an explanation,@ the man said.
ACoach we=re just goin= to the bathroom,@ Jimmie answered.
Isaac looked at him with a puzzle expression on his face, he
didn=t know if Jimmie was trying to cover for both of them of just for
him. Anyhow, he didn=t respond.
AAnd you?@ Smith asked Isaac.
ANothin=!@
AI don=t know. It looks to me that you=re about to get into a . . .@
the man said.
AUs?@ Jimmie said. ANo way, he=s my new brother.@ The flat face
boy moved to give Isaac a hug. AYou tell him Isaac, are we fostered
brothers?@
AYeah,@ disconcerted with Jimmie turned around, Isaac
responded.
49
The Time Key

AO.K., so let=s go back to you classroom.@


Smith walked the two boys to Mr. Posh class, he didn=t trust the
two boys, he thought that they=re lying to him. So after the bell rang
and everyone was in the school ramp he kept an eye on them

Isaac couldn=t wait to tell someone what happened, the only


people he trusted then, were Elisa, Bobby and Uloe. But Uloe didn=t
want to hear about the incident, he told Isaac that it was too dangerous
to play with the Time Key device. Elisa, in the other hand, was forbidden
to speak with Isaac; Mr. Gonzalez thought that the boy was a quack and
that he was bad influence on his daughter. And Bobby was too far
away for Isaac to speak with, Mrs. Sheriman didn=t allow him to use the
phone. The only possible thing he had to communicate with Bobby was
Internet and through e-mail using the library computer, when Ms.
O'Brien wasn't looking.

50
J.V. Rosario

Right after Posh=s class Isaac ran to write Bobby they had an
agreement to get in a chat room every Tuesday. That Tuesday was no
different, looking around for Ms O'Brien, the middle school librarian,
Isaac typed:
Isaac: Are you there?
Bobby: Yes
Isaac: I have something to tell you.
Bobby: Go ahead!
Isaac: This afternoon while I was in Mr. Poshy boring
class, the Time Key sounded like a cellular
phone.
Bobby: And, what happened?
Isaac: I asked the old fart to let me get out to the
bathroom and then something came out as I
was in the toilet cubical, a small wormhole
showed up in front of me, and guess what
happened.
Bobby: Isaac goes ahead.

51
The Time Key

Isaac: Me, it was me coming through the wormhole,


he or I said to me that I shouldn't do what I was
going to do.
Bobby: And then?
Isaac: The stupid Jimmie Sheriman was spying on me,
he was in the next cubical, looking at me.
Bobby: Did he follow you?
Isaac: Yes!
Bobby: What happened?
Isaac: I lost communication, and Jimmie then tried to
fight me. I was all worked out; he was to know
about the Time Key.
Bobby: Isaac, don=t let him have it. That boy is crazy!
Isaac: I won=t.

AWhat are you doin= there,@ said Ms. O'Brien


Isaac typed on the monitor, AGot to go,@ and then he turned
around to the slender woman, and said, ANothin=.@ The boy that never

52
J.V. Rosario

smiles had a guilty expression written all over his face, he, then, turned
the computer off.
AYoung man, you better go to the bus ramp now,@ said the
librarian.
AYes, madden,@ Isaac said, as he stood up and moved toward the
media center metal detector.
Ms. O'Brien observed the boy as he left the library she knew
about the school bus incident and every time Isaac came to the library
she kept an extra eye on him. And she was not the only one, Mr. Smith,
the Principal, was very suspicion of the boy, so he and the other
assistant principals kept a tied watch on the poor boy.

***
The muster color bus took the usual route; it commuted
between the town of Pierson, where Taylor Middle-High School was
built some sixty-years ago, to DeLeon Springs some five miles north of
DeLand. Isaac always enjoyed the back home journey; the two-lines-
road was a breath of fresh air for him. A wall of pine trees on each side
of the road and dark-blue sky roofing over the long road calmed Isaac as
53
The Time Key

the movement of the vehicle put him to sleep. His blue eyes struggled
to stay awake that evening, the worries that came after restroom
incident and the watch that everyone in school had on him took a toll.
His head reclaimed on the cold glass window, while his body relaxed on
the dark olive seat of the school bus.
The vehicle was never full of students, between sixteen and
twenty students were transported every day from DeLeon Springs to
Taylor. But since the double vision that everyone had with the two
Isaacs and the two Uloes, Isaac was under suspicion, by everyone on
board. Jimmie stopped being himself right after everything happened.
Something struck him that day and he couldn=t leave it alone. His mind
was always worked out about what happened that day, and about the
fat pen that Isaac had been hanging from his neck. Jimmie wanted it,
and he was willing to do what was necessary to get it from his foster-
brother. He thought that there was something magical coming from the
instrument, a magic one of a source.
So, Jimmie pulled the neckless from his foster-brother=s neck
and ripped the pen gently, so gently that Isaac didn=t notice it at first.
Jimmie immediately looked at the tool; it was the size of a Crayola

54
J.V. Rosario

marker but a lot heavy. On what appeared to be its top part there were
a number of small keys; he counted twenty-three in all.
The boy=s hands were shaking; he pushed five keys at random
and without thinking. And nothing happened at first, he, then, observed
the thing carefully and noticed that it began to vibrate, much like a mute
cellular phone.
Isaac opened his eyes and saw Jimmie standing over him with
the fat pen in his hands, immediately he felt his neck to see if his time
key was still there.
AJimmie no,@ he shouted.
Everyone in the school bus was awake in an instance, the heads
popping out of the small cubicles that the dark olive seats made inside
the school bus. Everyone set their eyes on what was happening in the
back of the bus. And the driver looked through his mirror.
The device in Jimmie=s hands was producing a soft blue light,
pointing to the front of the vehicle. He wanted to let go but something
didn=t allow him too, as if the time key was glued to his hands.
Isaac hopped out of his seat and tried to snap the pen shape
device from Jimmie=s hand. But, it was too late for that, the damage

55
The Time Key

was already done. A large opening appeared in front of the school bus,
vacuuming in all objects in its surrounding. Hurricane winds were
absorbing the large muster color vehicle inside a large wormhole. The
school bus began to wave from side to side as if it was surfing a stormy
sea.
AWhat d= you do?@ Isaac screamed at the same time he tried to
pull the key out of Jimmie=s fingers.
AI don=t know!@ he shouted.
AJESUS,@ shouted the bus driver. AWhat=s happening?@
The twenty-something kids squealed all at once as the vehicle
jumped into the wormhole.

56
J.V. Rosario

Chapter III
The Past

T
he bus rested on a meadow surrounded by pine trees;
everything was green and the air was pure but warm. The road
was gone; the railroad track was not there anymore. The
school bus was stuck to a high grass and palmetto bushes. It appeared
as if someone rolled the asphalt road and took it way.
The driver sat on his seat, with a perplexing expression on his
face, while everyone in the bus couldn=t believe their eyes. Something
strange had happened to them and they didn=t know what, so they were
muted as they looked to the surroundings. Their environment was
replaced by a forest like no other has seen before.
AWhat=s goin= on?@ said a fat girl with glasses.
Nobody answered her; an arrow hit the bus fuselage, and
bounced off the metal. Then another one entered through a window
and ricocheted on the second seat where a boy with moronic expression
occupied.

57
The Time Key

AEverybody down,@ said the driver.


The arrows began to hit the bus out-of-hull, some came through
the windows.
AWhat=s goin= on?@ another boy said as he put his hands over his
head.
Isaac was still holding Jimmie=s hand, as they fell on the floor.
AJimmie, what did you go?@
AI don=t know,@ he answered without letting go the time key.
ALet it go,@ Isaac screamed.
ANo!@
AWe are in trouble, let it go and I turn us back,@ Isaac said.
ABack where?@
ABack to the present time, you idiot,@ Isaac said while he pulled
the device from his foster-brother=s hand.
AI knew it,@ he said.
AShut-up, stupid,@ Isaac hushed the boy with the flat face.
Jimmie was not used to be spoken like that if the situation was
different, he would kick Isaac=s face, but something surreal was
happening.

58
J.V. Rosario

Outside the bus the arrows stopped hitting the school bus, a
moment of silence clobbered the following minutes. Isaac opened his
eyes wide and then looked at Jimmie he couldn=t believe what he beheld
through the windows. Jimmie like the rest of the other kids they all
open their mouths wide.
A long hair man, almost naked and short in a statue, showed up
through the window. His black straight hair was ornamented with
feathers braided in a long pony tale. The bronzed skin man held a long
spire with his right hand, and bow and arrows were stacked on his back.
He moved slowly toward the scared group of kids, behind him more
naked people began to show up too, holding spires and pointing arrows
at the school bus.
AJimmie, what=d you do?@ Isaac shouted.
Jimmie looked at his new foster-brother and couldn=t answer, as
soon he held the time key in his hand he began to pushed keys and he
couldn=t remember what he did. AI don=t know, I don=t remember.
Where are we, Isaac?@ he finally said as everyone inside the bus looked
at the two arguing boys.

59
The Time Key

AFor the looks of it, I think . . . I think that . . . we are in the . . .


past,@ Isaac=s voice fainted as he pronounced those words.
No one said anything after that. Not even the bus driver, the
small chubby man was as confuse as his children he was supposed to
drive home. Everything around his muster vehicle had changed and the
approaching people looked very menacing to him. The other children
were completely seized by the whole situation, some were holding each
other, and other were just paralyzed by the threatening appearance of
the dark skin people that showed out them.
Isaac tried to figure out how far they had traveled into the past,
he knew that they were in the same spot but in a different time. As he
observed the people surrounding the bus, he knew that they were
primitive. But they weren't Seminoles; they were too primitive to be so.
And then something caught his eye, among all the dark skins a white
bearded man was being dragged by the hostile group. The man was
wearing an iron armor on his chest and baggy pan that ended on his
knees where his long leather booth started. His style was something
that Isaac could recognize; he was a Spaniard.

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The man dragged by the indigenous people didn=t present any


resistant, he limited himself to comply as he moaned while they shouted
and abuse him. Isaac wasn't totally sure about what was going on, but
his best guess was that they had jumped into the past some five-
hundred year, near the discovery of Florida. In a bizarre way he
expected to see Ponce De Leon coming to rescue the man, the little
imagined lingered in his head for a few seconds.
AWho=s that?@ a voice came behind the two boys.
AI don=t know,@ Isaac said. He didn=t want to give more answers
to the others in the school bus, dark skin people were approaching with
their arrows pointing at them. AJimmie, show me what=d you do,@ he
finally said to the big face boy.
AI told you,@ his voice cracked with fear. This was the first time
since Isaac met him that Jimmie showed that emotion.
AYou dirty rat,@ Isaac shouted. AYou=re goin= to try to remember,
>cause if not they are goin= to eat us alive.@
If this was another time, Jimmie would squash Isaac head
against the pavement, but he was trembling with the Indians= menacing

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The Time Key

site. AWhat=d you want from me? I ain=t the owner of the pen,@ Jimmie
said.
AIt=s okay, I know. All I=m saying is that we need to know what=d
you do! What keys did you press? It's a matter of life and DEATH,@ said
Isaac.
AI pushed this one and this one, if I remember;@ Jimmie put his
fingers on the device as he pointed the small keys on the upper part of
the fat pen.
Isaac immediately made a guess and pushed the three keys
Jimmie pointed out, and then he added his own equation. If they
wanted to go back to the future, he needed to reverse the entire
process. He glanced at Jimmie with an intense look and then he pushed
the red middle key, and waited to see what was going to happen.
But this time nothing happened, Isaac looked at Jimmie and the
rest of the children inside the bus. The chunky driver made a gesture
with his shoulders as if he was expecting something to occur. Isaac
repeated the whole sequence of keys but nothing transpired again.
Outside the bus the dark skin people were just out of the glass
windows, some of them touched the out hull in a careful posture. They

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J.V. Rosario

were frightened by the size of the strange object that just showed in
their mists.
One of the tallest men then pronounced some words, a
contraction of words that no one in the bus could understand. He
thundered in a language that was unknown to the kids inside the yellow
bus.
AIsaac, why it didn=t work?@ Jimmie said.
AI don=t know,@ he responded. AMaybe its recharging or worth is
broken.@
AWhat=s goin= on?@ the girl with the glasses said.
But Jimmie and Isaac just ignored her; they were busy trying to
figure out why the fat pen didn=t work at all.
The dark skin people were all around the vehicle, which were
shouting in a unison voice something intelligible for them. They pushed
the transport from all sides while its occupants gather in the middle
alley between the seats. All the windows were up, but the kids didn=t
know how long it would take for the indigenous to break through.
AWhere are we?@ shouted the driver.

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The Time Key

Isaac didn=t answer, he jumped over the line of seats and some
of his classmates to get to the driver=s seat. He sat on it and then
pressed the horn key on the steering wheel. And the banging stopped
the dark skin people pulled back.
AHow d= you turn this thin= on?@ he screamed at the driver. But
Isaac had the bus moving in no time.
The warriors stepped back as the school bus began to displace
over the meadow. Arrows hit the transport=s back fender while some
spears flew by the windows. Girls and some boys screeched in panic as
some Indians relentless pursuit it jumping and hanging by the windows
as they tried to get a hold of any its riders.
Isaac kept on moving the steering wheel from left to right, but
some lines of pine trees were coming in front of them, he needed to
stop or he would crash the vehicle against them. The bus wasn't moving
fast so the Indians were almost at their butt, running to catch the 21st
century group of school kids and a fat bus driver.
ABoy, stop the bus,@ shouted the driver.
AHeck NO!@ Isaac shouted back, but he didn=t have another place
to maneuver himself out of his predicament.

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J.V. Rosario

Finally the bus stopped, it was trapped. An arrow crossed inside


through the window and hit the dash board. Everyone dodged down
between the line of seats. Isaac jumped back to the driving seat and
began to drive the bus backward, he didn=t care if he took some of the
dark skin warriors that were shooting arrows at him.
Some of the indigenous lunged on the windshield window and
gripped tight to the bus mirrors. Others just got out of the way of
backward vehicle coming at them while they shot more arrows at it. But
Isaac kept on driving; he knew that their lives depended on it. He pulled
the steering wheel to the right so the bus could turn around and he
could move it forward.
Everyone inside the vehicle was tossed like popcorn in a movie
theater popcorn machine. Boys and girls cried out Isaac=s name so he
could stop the large sixty-passengers transport. The short fat man, the
only adult in with them, hit the floor hard and wasn't able to stand up as
some of the kids stepped on him.
ABoy, stop this bus immediately,@ shouted the driver from the
floor.
ANO,@ shouted Isaac, AI=m trying this again . . .@

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The Time Key

Isaac pushed again the trigger of the Time Key, and pointed
toward the windshield, and this time a reaction transpired in front of his
eyes. A small hole in the air showed up similar to the top part of a
waterspout.
AThere it is,@ Isaac suddenly shouted.
But nobody understood what he was cheering for. They were
too busy trying to stay a flout from the school bus= movement as it
displaced over the grassy meadow, while the strange looking people
fallowed and shot arrows indiscriminately at it. A large hole expanded
in front of the yellow vehicle and Isaac was driving into it. Jimmie and
the other children felt an extraordinary wind penetrating the bus inside,
a suction filling overwhelmed them. It was as if a colossus vacuum
cleaner was pulling them inside.
AHere we go,@ shouted the young driver.
The girl with the thick glasses shouted from the top of her lungs
as she figured out that they were going back inside a big hole opening in
front of the school bus. Jimmie and his friend Alan were also screaming
like two little babies left without change in their dirty dippers. The fat
bus driver held to the pole near the driver seat and shouted, AOh no,

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J.V. Rosario

God!@ And the rest of all the twenty something students clutched to the
seats in front as if they were going downhill in a roller coaster ride.

***
The school bus was moving across the Emporia interception this
time the short bulky driver did all the right things to cross the railroad
tracks. He open the door to see if he could hear a train coming, but the
tracks were desolated.
The driver kept on moving the vehicle it was here that the
incident with the boys that disappear happened as it was told by his
predecessor. One of the boys that was in the back of the bus sleeping
came to the bus and then he and his buddy disappear in the thin air. He
always thought that the new boy was wearer. If it was for him, he will
never let him in the bus, but until that moment Isaac had not gave him
any reason for him to kick him out of the school bus. But he was waiting
to find any friction between him and the boy.
As the man drove the sixty passengers’ school bus he didn't
dwell on what happened to the other driver, his life was not
complicated and he like it that way. He never gave credibility to stories

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The Time Key

of the super natural. But the resent-incident woke up his imagination,


he didn=t understand exactly know what it had happened but he
believed his friend-driver.
In the back of the bus Jimmie kept his eyes on Isaac, who was
dosing in the cubical seat that he occupied by himself. In Jimmie=s mind
there was the nagging question about what happened before when
Isaac and his annoying brother Uloe showed up inside the bus. Isaac was
his nemesis, since he saw him for the first time he thought that boy was
a punk; a city pretty boy that he hated with great passion.
The fat driver was moving the large yellow vehicle, following his
route to the letter; he already had left half of his cargo in different bus
stop along the way of the Old #17 Road that cross the railroad track
twist. On the distance something peculiar, another school bus was
approaching. The driver found that odd, because his bus was the only
one that travel the route, and this bus was coming in the opposite
direction and fast.
AWhat-a hell?@ he said.

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The bus was coming fast very fast and in the wrong lane; the two
school buses were going to a head on collision. The fat driver hit his
breaks and missed the incoming bus by three short feet.
Almost everybody inside flew out of there seats, even Isaac that
was dousing when the hole incident befell.
ADame!@ shouted the fat driver.
The boys and the girls stood up from their seats and floor to see
what was going on. Then, someone came out of the other school bus, it
was Isaac. He ran to the glass door and knocked hard, he wanted to
come in. It took the driver five seconds to recognize the boy.
AWhat-a heck?@ he said.
ALet me in,@ said Isaac.
The boys that were in front of the bus said all at once, AIt=s
Isaac!@
ANO,@ shouted the driver, AGo away.@
ALet me in,@ Isaac said.
The Isaac that was already in the bus stood up, to see what was
going on in front of the bus. He could distinguish himself knocking at
the glass door and shouting; ALet me in,@ to the driver.

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The Time Key

Out of the other school bus other were coming out, Jimmie and
Alan came out the door as well as the fat driver and some other five
students. The others just showed their faces through the second school
bus windshield.
The fat driver seating on his seat coursed again, and finally let
Isaac come inside the bus. As he came out to face the other Isaac
Cunningham all eyes were on him, a deep silence came over the bus;
even Jimmie and Alan didn=t say a word.
AWhy are you here?@ Isaac asked the other Isaac.
AListen to me well, I know what happened last time,@ Isaac said.
AWhat?@ said Isaac.
ATime corrected itself when you came back from the future or
the past, and its going to happen again,@ said Isaac. AI fell asleep and
Jimmie took the key from me, and we jumped into the past. He messed
around with it, and the key open a wormhole that threw us back in time
some five hundred years.@
ASo what do you want me to do?@ the blond boy that never smile
looked at his double with an inquisitive expression on his face.

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APromise me that you are not going to fall asleep in this bus
ever,@ said the other Isaac.
AOkay, I promise!@
And as Isaac said that the boy in front of him vanished in the thin
air as everyone watched. The school bus facing up their school bus and
the other children went too. The girl with the thick glasses howled a
nervous chant and fainted on her knees, she thought that she had
witnessed a miracle. The fat driver couldn=t believe his eyes, and called
the transportation dispatcher through his CB Radio, and asked for
another driver. He didn=t want to be in the same bus as Isaac like some
of the other students. They thought that Isaac was dealing with some
kind of black magic. Jimmie and Alan however they stayed with Isaac in
the same bus and finished the rest of the route. The two boys observed
him with fear and hate, now more that ever Isaac was going to be their
enemy.
***
The rest of the trip home took more than two hours, the refusal
of the fat driver to finish the rest of the route and the explanation and
questions that came after moved the rest of the trip into an odyssey.

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The Time Key

Isaac was very tired, but he promised himself not to fall asleep, and to
guard the Time Key from Jimmie and his stupid friend Alan. He didn=t
know why Jimmie wanted to key, and he didn=t want to ask him either.
He only knew that it was dangerous for everyone if someone steal the
key from him.
When he got home, Isaac ran to his room and closed the door
behind him he didn=t want to talk to anyone not even Uloe. He lay on
his bed and for not reason he began to cry on his pillow, he cried until
he fell asleep. Uloe covered him and watched for Jimmie and his
mother, they were arguing in the living room about Isaac.
AMom, I don=t want them here anymore,@ said Jimmie.
AWhy not?@
AThey=re weird,@ Jimmie said pointing to his foster-brothers=
door. APlease send them back.@
AJimmie, we need the money,@ Mrs. Sheriman said.
AMom, they are weird,@ Jimmie said, Athey have a pen or
somethin= that can let you travel in time.@
She didn=t answer then, the lengthy woman spun around and
moved away from her son; she gave little validity to what her son just

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J.V. Rosario

said. Jimmie screamed an airy sound, he was angry at her. He hated the
boy that came to live with his family and his mother didn=t want to do
any about it.
AIf she don=t do anythin', I=will, I=m goin= to get rip of them,@ he
said to himself with the hope that she was listening. AI=m goin= to make
their lives hell, YOU NOW!@ The boy ran to his room and slammed the
door behind him.
As this act happened in the living room, Uloe listened to the
whole thing from his side of the bedroom door. He understood
perfectly well what Jimmie had said. However, Isaac slept throughout
the whole thing, what happened in the school bus drained all the energy
of his body. He left Uloe in the dark about what had occurred in the
vehicle. So the little boy filled all the blanks with what Jimmie told his
mother as they argued in the living room. Uloe knew that a war was
coming between the two earth boys and it wasn't going to be pretty.
Jimmie could mortify Isaac if he wants it too, and he could get vicious.
The Sheriman kid was awfully spoil by the mother, he was the
only son she had and between their narrow economic times he was
always able to get what he wanted. The thing was that he was able to

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The Time Key

get anything at school too, and he could use pure brute force if it was
necessary. So Uloe didn=t know what to do with the information, he
knew that Isaac would act on it. In a way he thought that Isaac was
afraid of Jimmie, and he could not understand why. Isaac was the
liberator of his people the boy that destroyed the Ttenbanis.

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J.V. Rosario

Chapter IV
Bullies

T
he days that followed after the second school bus incident Isaac
became the school outcast; everyone thought that he was a
weirdo that have some kind of magic. They forgot that the
Alien race came to destroy the Earth and that their technology was so
advance that it could look like magic when it was done. But none Isaac
schoolmates knew that he had a connection to the invasion that
occurred some six mouths ago, only Elisa=s family and Bobby knew that
fact, and now Jimmie was suspecting that Isaac had some technology
that could duplicate things or events, he didn=t yet connect the dots
about time traveling.
Isaac never wanted to be an outcast in his own school; he was a
serous boy but at the same time very gregarines. But now even his
football pals wanted anything to do with him; they were afraid of him.
Jimmie took himself to make a campaign of terror against Isaac; he
related to everyone in school and in football practice that if anyone dare
to speak to his foster brothers, he will personally Akick their butts!@

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The Time Key

Jimmie began a campaign of terror against Isaac, him and Alan and
three other boys used the middle school halls to tackle Isaac wherever
they spotted him, by his locker or in front of the classroom door. The
four boys didn=t discriminate place or situation to torture him.
The boy that never smiles even learned to hate football practice
too. Mr. Gonzales, Elisa=s father, became their new Puff Warner football
coach and he wasn't fun of Isaac. The man never accepted the idea that
Isaac saved the world from the monster race that attacked the Earth
some seven months before. In a way he was jealous of the heroics that
his daughter accredited to the twelve-year-old boy. And now he was
assigned to his team a lone with Jimmie Sheriman, Alan Hail, Andrew
Schmidt and Francis Creamy members of Hate Committee.
These four boys were a menacing force inside the football field
that was controlled by Isaac=s foster-brother. Alan, Jimmie=s best friend,
didn=t appear to be that smart to anyone that when in contact with him,
in the other hand he was very strong. His Aryan looks made his friend to
called him as the German boy. He and the other two football players
were the enforcers of the Gonzales rule of no walking in the football
field.

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Isaac never walked on the field but that was not reason for the
trio to tackle him after the ball was death in practice. Periodically, Isaac
got hit twice in one practice and even though he at times got hurt by the
assaults he never complained to the coach. He didn=t want to look like a
sissy in front of the other players, many who had stopped talking to him.

AGet up, Cunningham,@ shouted Mr. Gonzales after Isaac was


slaughtered by the Creamy kid.
Isaac stood up and walked to the water container, where
Jimmie, Alan and Andrew were laughing at him.
AHe's a girl!@ said the Creamy boy.
AWhat=s goin= on, Isaac? You can=t keep your feet on the
ground?@ smirked Andrew Schmidt as the other three boys laughed at
him. Andrew used to be Isaac=s friend before the invasion. The chubby
kid was the first person that talked to Isaac when he arrived to the
school after he was put with the Burnsides= home by the Children
Service Department.
ANot, he=s just a woozy,@ replied Jimmie.

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The Time Key

AShut up, Jimmie,@ Isaac responded with angry. As he took his


football helmet and threw on the ground.
Jimmie interpreted that as a challenge to his authority over the
over his group of bully boys. AYou got a problem,@ said the boy as he
moved to cut Isaac=s pathway. AYo know one thing? You and your
boyfriend, Uloe, are goin= to be out of my house before Christmas.@
AYou know what, Jimmie? If that was up to us, we would leave
your filthy house the first day we got there,@ Isaac responded.
Jimmie, who was holding his helmet with his right hand, swan at
Isaac without any pity feeling over his foster-brother. But Isaac dodged
the strike with a lot of grease, and pulled Jimmie on the ground with the
movement.
Jimmie wanted to hurt Isaac badly at this point; he grabbed him
by his neck and began to throw pushes in discriminatory at his head with
his right fist. Isaac struggled to get free from his foster-brother
embrace; he lifted Jimmie by the legs and pushed him over his
shoulders. Jimmie landed on the ground stunned by the maneuver, but
he didn=t bush, he stood up and went after Isaac again. AGod, what=re
you doin=.@ Isaac shouted at him.

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AAnd goin= to kill you,@ shouted Jimmie.


The three other boys were screaming and cheering for his best
pal, Jimmie, AGet him, Jim,@ they cheered, AKick his butt,@
The other football players stopped what they were doing to
come see the scramble between the two brothers. One of the youngest
coaches just stood there watching them fight, as if was okay for them to
do so. Mr. Gonzales showed up then, he pulled Isaac by his uniform
and threw him to the ground hard, while putting a hand on Jimmie=s
chest to stop him from continuing.
AWhat=s goin= on here,@ said the heavy set man.
AHe started it,@ said Francis Creamy.
AYeah, he did,@ caroled the Schmidt boy.
AI didn=t,@ Isaac tried to said but the deputy didn=t let him speak.
AI had deal with a lot of people like you;@ he pushed Isaac again
to the ground, AYou=re out of here.@ The coach sentenced Isaac, AI don=t
want you here, boy. Take you stuff off and leave them in the duck-out.
And hit the road . . . A the man finally said.
AGOOD,@ Isaac shouted back, AI don=t want to play for you or
with this bunch of Jackasses.@ He threw the football equipment right

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The Time Key

there in front of the man and runaway. His entire former friend just
watched while Jimmie=s mafia laughed hard as Isaac ran through the
middle of the football field.
AYou better behave,@ said Mr. Gonzales; AI can call the Feds for
you. They will be happy to know what happened to you during the
invasion. And they will like to know what they pale boy gave you after
they took their spaceships.@ The man uttered to Isaac as his other
football players watch, and the boy ran away from him.
ACoach, what did you mean by that?@ Jimmie asked Gonzales.
Deputy Omar Gonzales didn=t respond to Jimmie inquiry, he kept
on yelling at his players so they could go back to practice. He observed
in the distance Isaac running away from him. . Something shrunk the
man=s heart at that point, in away he felt guilty.

Isaac didn=t want to go to the Sherimans= home then, he hated


Jimmie and he disliked his skinny mom even more. However, Uloe was
already in the filthy house and he didn=t know how to runaway with his
young alien friend. He was tight to the relative comfort of the home.
Where would he go? How could he let Uloe live in as a runaway after

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J.V. Rosario

everything that happened to in the beasts' spaceship? He didn=t want


that for the boy that idolized him so much. Isaac loves Uloe like the
brother his parent never gave him.
So as the sun went down, turning into a huge reddish ball of fire
and burned between the few Autumn clouds on the horizon, the all-
American boy waited the Voltran=s bus to show up. The vehicle was
going to pick him up in front of the Handy Way gas station in the center
of downtown Pierson and then take his destination in DeLeon Springs.
Both towns were two specs on the map, unimportant for those who
passed through highway seventeen.
Pierson, the smaller of the two, got a new Middle-High School;
politics affected all decision in the School Board, so millions of dollars
were pored on a town with the population of 5,000 souls. Teachers
were reluctant to teach at Taylor Middle-High; it was too far away from
the main town in the county.
Isaac liked the school then, it was small and Elisa was always
there for him. But lately things were getting more problematic for him,
Bobby left to be with his real parents and even though he wouldn't

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The Time Key

admit Isaac missed him very much. After the Ttenbanis= invasion the
two boys needed each other as much as two brothers could.
By the time he got home Uloe was already sleeping, too early for
Isaac, but he understood why. Mrs. Sheriman had used the little boy to
clean the house, and he worked the entire day. Children Services had
planned a visit to the home and she didn=t want to look bad in front of
the area supervisor. They were coming to check the home and the
conditions the four kids she have under her care in those days.
Isaac covered his young friend, as he always did when he could
not sleep, he felt sorry that Uloe didn=t have a better life here on Earth.
Uloe knew very little about his parents, when the invasion in his planet
happened he was very young, a sister of his put him in a transporter
with a friend so he could escape from the Beasts. But, they were caught
by the merciless animals and he was sent to their moon. There, Uloe
was put in the list of too young to work for them, so he and another boy
escape inside the sphere, and runaway to the cave were he found Isaac.

Although, Isaac thought that Uloe was unhappy in the


Sherimans= foster-home, he was mistake. Mrs. Sheriman took the little

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J.V. Rosario

boy under her wings and he liked to be around her, she was the only
mother figure he ever had then. But, Isaac wanted a better home for
him and for Uloe, he wished then to be back with the Burnsides, they
were better foster-parents in many ways.
Remembering at times about his real parents satisfied Isaac in
many ways, the face of his father was unrecognizable to him, he began
to forget them. All the last pictures he had from them were destroyed
in the attack on the Burnsides= home. So he hated himself for not being
able to remember the most important man in his life. Lately, he went to
bed thinking about then, hating himself more and more that he could
not remember their faces.
The night was almost there and Jimmie returned from practice,
with his friend Alan, who was going to spend the night with the
Sheriman. For Alan=s mother Friday nights were party nights, she
usually found a way to put her two sons in some other people home so
she could go to Barberville's Speedway or to Barnie's Bar. The two boys
were very closed so Alan usually end up spending the night with his best
body Jimmie. Isaac never knew exactly what did they do in the bedroom
the whole night; he always thought that they were talking about the

83
The Time Key

people they hated the most. For him these two brads were never up to
no good, and he was always alert to an extent that he did not go to
sleep until early hours in the morning. Isaac was afraid that they will
show up one night and play Uloe and him one of Jimmie=s practical
jokes.
But that Friday night didn=t go as it usually occurred in the
Sheriman=s home, Isaac was awake looking through his bedroom
windows. Jimmie and Alan stopped making noise in their room, while
Uloe snored the night away. Outside the window a street light focused
in to cats mating ritual everything was quiet, Mrs. Sheriman=s TV set was
showing static and Isaac knew that she was asleep. He felt saved then,
he was tired and didn=t expect the two bullies to show in his bedroom
door that night. So he covered himself with the old comfortable the
woman gave him when he was transferred to her house some seven
months ago.
Isaac put his head on the pillow and closed his eyes; a drowsing
feel pushed him to sleep. AIsaac,@ a voice said. AIsaac.@
The boy opened his dark blue eyes, Awhat=s goin= . . .@ he
vocalized.

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AIsaac, wake up you=re goin= to be late for school,@ the female


voice said.
Isaac was not sure, but he was not in the Sherimans= home
again, he recognized the room. AWho?@
AIsaac, please, you need to be moving, sweetheart,@ she said as
she showed up her face through the bedroom door frame.
AMother,@ Isaac said with excitement.
The women came inside the room, and sat on the bed beside
Isaac, who was dismayed by her mother sudden appearance. He looked
at her and grinned from side to side of his face, she was there on the
flesh, alive as he was.
AWhat=s with you?@ She asked him, as she passed her hand over
the hair on his forehead.
Isaac didn=t know how to answer, he couldn=t hardly talk, and an
emotional response came inside his throat. A thick clone got stuck in his
throat; he wanted to cry but not in front of his mother. The twelve-
year-old boy moved his trunk forward and with great affection he
hugged the woman that bared him.

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The Time Key

AWhat=s with you, today?@ She said pushing him away from her
gently. ANow, Isaac you need to take a shower, and get ready to school
you father is waiting for you down stairs.
AFather?@ Isaac just said.
AYes, you father and he is not happy about being late to work.
He's going to make take the bus, so hurry up.@
AYes, Mother,@ said he.
Mrs. Cunningham walked away from Isaac, and closed the door
after her, while Isaac looked around. This was his old room everything
was exactly how he remember it, the air plane models, the Star War
and Independence Day posters on the walls, and his favorite, a model of
the USS Enterprise 1701-A, and on a chair his Miami Dolphin football
helmet rested. AThis isn't a dream,@ he told himself.
Isaac Cunningham was home again, he couldn=t figure out how,
but he was home again, he could wait to tell Bobby, Elisa and Uloe what
was happening to him. He then went to the mirror in his bathroom; he
looked the same like a twelve-year-old. Isaac found that odd at first but
his excitement was too great. He wanted to see his father again, the

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J.V. Rosario

man he admired the most was down stairs waiting to take him to school.

The toothbrush almost didn=t touch his mouth. Isaac ran down
stairs with the agility that he learned in all those long football practice in
Pierson=s Park with Coach Smith. He put his clothes on as he went
through the stairs running to see his father.
Mr. Cunningham was at the bottom of the stair facing a mirror
by the house entrance door; he was adjusting his wristwatch as he
looked to see if he had something between his front teeth. Isaac
stopped to watch him from the distance; he made little movement as he
contemplated his dad from the distance. It was him, the man he loved
so much, and now by a strange twist of faith he was back alive.
The boy didn=t want to think how or why he was back again in
his old house with his family. Then and without thinking, Isaac ran down
the stairs and jumped on his father arms to hug him with great emotion.
AIsaac, what are you doin=?@ The man said.
ADad, it=s so good to see you again, I love you, Dad,@ the boy said
as he hung from his daddy=s arms.

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AOkay, okay, son. I love you too,@ Mr. Cunningham said to him
with surprise.
AWhat=s goin= on here?@ Isaac=s mom said.
AI don=t know, this boy just came to hug me this morning,@ said
Isaac=s father.
AThat=s impressing,@ Mrs. Cunningham articulated. AI thought
that you were out of the hugging stage.@
AGuys, you don=t know how much I missed you,@ said Isaac. AIt=s
been two years since the accident . . .@
AWhat accident?@
AYou know the want that you two got . . .@ Isaac didn=t finish. It
didn=t matter anymore, beside he was completely confused about the
circumstances; he only knew then that those two were his parents, and
that he was out of Pierson and the Sherimans= home.
AWhat are you talking about?@ The two grownups said at the
same time.
AIt doesn't matter anymore,@ Isaac responded to his parents.
AOkay, let=s get some breakfast,@ Mrs. Cunningham said.

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Isaac sat at the table with his parents; Mr. Cunningham read the
Orlando Sentinel paper while his mother put some pancakes on his
plate. Only Doris Burnside could it put more pancakes in his plate, but
Isaac wasn't sure if Mrs. Burnside was real or not. A baby chair sat on
the side of the round table, Isaac didn=t know how that came to be
there. He saw his mother prepared a bottle, and a baby food container,
but he put no attention at first.
The boy=s family bought a home in the Dr. Philip area, when he
was about two years old. However, the Cunninghams weren't good with
their money, even though that Melvin Cunningham worked as a math
teacher in the near High School; he was incapable to balance his own
checkbook. They were in debt through their necks, that=s how Isaac
ended in foster-care after they were killed in the car crash as they were
getting out of the Universal Studios, where Aileen Cunningham worked
as a ticket booth sales person.
Melvin and Aileen were doing their routine as if nothing had
transpired in the passed two years; their small talk was amusing to their
son, especially after they pecked each other in their lips. Isaac knew
that they loved each other very much, and that they made him happy

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The Time Key

too. He felt as if a great loud of weight had been lifted from his
shoulders, no more Jimmie Sheriman and his gangs of baboons. And no
more beastly Ttenbanis, they were as far as they could be from his
thoughts then.
Then, a cry came out of his parents' bedroom, a baby was crying.
AWhat=s that? Isaac immediately said.
AYour sister,@ Aileen said with surprise. ADon=t you remember
your two years old little sister?@
AOhB yeah!@
A baby girl with blood curly hair and blue eyes, Isaac didn=t
compute this, >she must be at least two years old. So my mother was
pregnant when she was killed in the accident. Nobody told me that. =
The days that followed the accident were very confusing to him, the
funeral and all its arrangements were made by the Mr. Cunningham=s
school friends. Isaac=s family was all to themselves, his grandparents
past away well before Isaac was born and he didn=t any uncles, or
immediate friends that could take care of him, so he ended in a foster
care home until someone could claim him. But nobody showed up for

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J.V. Rosario

him, so he was moved from home to home for the space of four months
until ended in Walter and Doris Burnside=s ranch.
His mother came down with a curly blond girl in her arms and
sat her on the baby chair to the right of Isaac. The big brother observed
the little thing with an enormous curiosity, in his wildest dream he never
expected to have a sister.
The little girls didn=t look friendly that morning, she didn=t want
to eat, and she threw everything that her mother put on the tray.
AWhat=s her name?@ Isaac said; he forgot that he was supposed
to know.
No of his parents put attention to Isaac question, and he
corrected himself when he figured out that he was supposed to know
his sister name.
AIsaac we got to go. I=ll take you to school,@ Melvin Cunningham
said to his son.
AYour books are on the table were you let them last night,@ his
mother said as she tried to feed the grouchy little girl. AKatie, you need
to eat your breakfast,@ Isaac heard his mother said his sister=s name.

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The Time Key

The neighborhood roughly appeared to be the same; the trees


were a little bit taller but other than that everything were as if nothing
was touch by the passage of time. Isaac lack of any memories of the
passed two years in this time line, he only remembered the Burnsides
home, and with it Bobby=s annoyances, Taylor Middle-High, and the
small flock of cows that he had to fed every morning before he went to
school. And then, the beasts attacked the Earth, and Aloe recruited
Bobby, Elisa and him to save the planet. And after all the heroics of
saving the Earth from destruction he ended inside the Sherimans= home
with Uloe and Jimmie the bully. Other than that Isaac didn=t remember
any thing, and he wanted to have some answers, he wanted to know
about a past that appeared to him special. So how it was possible that
could remember anything that happened to his parents and that he has
a sister in this time line. If all that was true, he didn=t care; he
wanted to be happy again, he wanted to feel the love that his parent
had from him again, and if he needed to forfeit his friends in Pierson or
his alien friends he would do it in a heart beat. The consequences didn=t
matter to him anymore, he wanted to have his life back.

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ADid you bring your change of cloths?@ Isaac=s father asked as he


drove his van through Dr. Philip Blvd.
ANo! Why do I need clothes?@ Isaac said.
AYou aren't going to practice?@
APractice?@
AFootball practice, dummy?@
Isaac didn’t know it was as if time moved forward without him;
he was still stuck in the life he lived in Seville, Pierson and the Springs.
The life he existed between the Burnsides and the Sheriman should
never happen if his parents survived the fetal car crash that killed both
instantaneously. He didn=t understand why, and in some strange way
he refused to think about that past, he wanted to be with parent more
than anything in the world.
Mr. Cunningham=s van turned on the Westside Middle School
children=s pick ramp where parents were unloading their kids. Isaac
observed everything for the first time; he never attended this school
before. Right before his parents' accident, he went to Dr. Philip
Elementary, some eight blocks away from where the middle school was
located. In many occasions the young Isaac passed through and

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The Time Key

wondered how it would feel to be in junior high but he never made it


there. His parents died and he was thrown into the Florida=s foster care
system. But now his father was taking him there as if he knew
everything was to know to survive a school such as that one.
AWell, here we are,@ the man said.
Isaac didn’t=t say a thing; he turned to his father and kissed him,
and then said, AI love you Dad.@
AWhat=s going on with you this morning?@
ANothing! I=m just happy! I don=t know.
AWe I hope you be happy for the rest of your life,@ Melvin
Cunningham said, AI love you too.@
Isaac opened the van door, and stepped on the ramp sidewalk,
and something incredible happened, he was at Taylor=s bus students'
pick-up ramp. The boy that never smiles opened his eyes wide, he could
not believe it them, he then twirled around to see if his father was still
there inside the van but he could only see the school bus door and a
bunch of students waiting for him to move away so they could move
forward into the lobby.
AMove,@ someone said.

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AYeah, stupid get out of the way,@ Jimmie Sheriman shouted as


he pushed the three students in front of him.
Isaac couldn=t understand what just had happened, in one
moment he was with his real family and in the next moment he was
back at Taylor High. The boy appeared dispirited, snuffle began to come
out his nose, but he fought it out with all the strength of his body. In the
lobby and talking to her friend Jena, Elisa observed his struggle to keep
composure, she knew him well. Something was happening to the boy
that saved the Earth from the alien invaders.
AIsaac, are you okay?@ She asked him as she put her right hand
on his shoulder.
ATell him to move,@ Jimmie shouted.
The lobby, full of people, paralyzed to watch what was going on.
Isaac=s struggle was evident and he was losing the battle, so he ran
away from the crow of students observing him like a rear monkey. He
dashed across the lobby, lapsing on his way the library and the new
cafeteria building running straight to the football field. And as he put all
the speed he had in his body, a scream came out of his stomach while
his books spread all over the route to campus football field.

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The Time Key

Class had not yet started so the field was desolated, the green
grass and the early morning breeze could pacify the boy=s anger. Isaac=s
mad feelings were spread to everyone; he wanted his life back, he
wanted his family back, his father=s wisdom and his mother tough love.
In the middle of the field he sat and cried like he never did before as if
he was morning them for the second time. The field=s lawn put a wet
spot on the boy=s jeans but he didn=t care anymore.
Elisa followed the books= trail, and found her friend sitting on
the field=s center by the fifty-yard. She observed the boy from the
distance with doubts in her mind in how to approach him. She was not
alone, her friend Jena was with her. Since they came back to school
Jena dislike Isaac, so she disapproved Elisa for coming after Isaac the
crazy boy that Jimmie was bulling. And Elisa had let her friend cast her
in a weave of rumors about the poor boy. That=s why she staid away
from him for the most part of the strange school year.
However, Elisa was the only person in school that knew the truth
about Isaac, she and Bobby were the only two people that could testify
about how brave he was. So it broke her heart to see him in such
hopeless demeanor.

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AWhat=s goin= on with him?@ Jena whispered.


AI don=t know,@ Elisa said. AI don=t know what to do. Should we
go and . . .?@
ALet=s go he is a loser,@ said Jena as she pulled Elisa=s arm, trying
to lead her away from the football field.
ANo,@ Elisa pulled back from her girl friend. AWe need to help
him. We own him a lot, Jena. We own him our lives.@
AWhat are you talking about?@
ANothin=, I promised.@
AElisa the bell is going to ring, and we goin= to get tardy.@
AI don=t care, you go. I=ll see you later.@
Jena was a lanky girl, with dark circles under her green eyes, and
white freckled skin. The fact that she was tall and very slender kept all
the boys away from her, boys that were mainly after her best friend. In
a way Jena was jealous but it was nothing that she could repress for her
friendship with Elisa.
AO.K., I=ll see you, later,@ she said. AGo and rescue your
boyfriend.@
AJena!@

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The Time Key

AGo,@ the girl waved her hands on the boy=s direction.


Isaac never stopped crying, something inside he was hurting
bad, an agonizing feeling of despair as if something was taking all the
happiness he had left. On his knees the boy couldn=t stopped sobbing.
Elisa sighted and then began to walk toward her friend, the boy
that saved the Earth from the alien invasion some seven months ago.
She wasn't sure what was happening to him; she only knew that her
friend was in pained and that she needed to help him.
The sun was coming behind the bleacher, but the morning
wasn't warm, a cool breeze displaced from the northeast it was fall=s
first day. The grass was wet, the field=s sprinklers just finishing watering
it. The place was desolated, only Isaac sat in the middle of the field. And
as Elisa stepped on the green field, she couldn=t imagine what was
afflicting him so bad. AIsaac,@ she called him extending her hand to
touch his shoulder.
The boy moved away from her in that point without saying
anything he began to walk away. He was embarrassed and he didn=t
want anyone around him in that juncture. As he walked away, he cried
something that Elisa couldn=t understand.

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AIsaac Cunningham, you stop right there,@ Elisa said firmly.


AWhat do you want?@ he shouted.
AI want to help you! Tell me what=s wron=,@ she said as she walk
to face him.
Isaac spawn trying to avoid direct eye contact with the girl he
like, he was embarrassed of letting her seen him. Elisa gripped him arm
trying to make him stop, but Isaac was to strong for her, ANO!@ he said,
AGo away!@
AI=m not goin= any where until you tell me what happened to
you,@ she said.
ANothin= happened,@ he shouted.
AI don=t buy that, Isaac Cunningham,@ she said. AI=m your friend,
remember.@
AI SAW MY PARENT, THERE THAT=S WHAT YOU WANT TO
KNOW,@ Isaac shouted pulling her hand away.
AThat=s not possible, Isaac, there are . . .@
ADEATH, don=t you think I now that.@
ABut how?@

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AI DON=T KNOW,@ he said as he put his hand on his face and cried
hard, as Elisa never saw anyone cried before. AI want them back; I want
to be with them again . . .@
Elisa held him in her arms and let him cried all he wanted, she
could feel the pain that was running throughout his body. The only
other time she felt that way was when they were in the beasts'
catacombs and Isaac felt sick after they both saw the human remains.
Both kids held each other in one embrace.
AIsaac, for your sake you need to tell me what=s goin= on,@ she
said.
Isaac lifted his head from her shoulder and then said, AThis
morning I wake up in my own bedroom, the one that I had when I was
living with my parents, my real parents . . .@

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J.V. Rosario

Chapter IV
The Decision

I saac told everything to Elisa, everything that transpired to him


before he came to school. As he explained to her that everything,
he convinced himself that what happened to him wasn't a dream.
It was too real to be one, but he didn=t have a logical explanation for
it. On the other hand Elisa became doubtful of the whole story, she
knew that Isaac believed it but at the same time she felt that he was
losing his mind.
They missed the first two periods of class, and when Isaac felt
capable to go to class, they both when to their respective classes. Isaac
remained quiet for the rest of the day his mind was not in her academic
subjects; he kept on thinking abut the whole incident with his parents.
He moved as a zombie the whole day until it was time to go back to the
Sheriman=s home.
In Mr. Posh=s history class Isaac counted the minutes for the end
of the school day bell to buzz. He knew everything the man tried to
teach, so he figured that nothing was going to be lost if catch so sleep in
this class.
AMr. Cunningham,@ said Posh. AWhat were the terms for
surrender Ulysses S. Grant gave to General Lee at the Appomattox Court
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The Time Key

House?@ The teacher asked the question directly to the boy that was
falling asleep in the back of the room.
Isaac woke up from his dozing trans, his eyes were opened wide,
he couldn=t believe his teachers, AWhy me?@ he said to himself.
ABoy, you need to stay wake in this class,@ said the man in the
wheel chair.
AThe terms were very easy,@ Isaac repeated what he learned
from the class textbook; AGrant did as he was told by Lincoln in a meet
few days before Lee=s surrender. Lee=s army needed to sign an
agreement that said they weren't goin= to take arms against the United
States of America. They were to turn in their rifles but they were
allowed to keep their side weapons.@
The teacher was struck by the boy=s response, he never expected
him to answer his difficult questions, Aand How could you know that?@
AIt=s in the book; chapter 12, section 4, page 249, paragraph 4,@
Isaac said.
A student looked immediately in the book and he found the
quote exactly how he Isaac put it, Ahe is right, @said the boy.
AHow?@ Mr. Posh tried to say but the bell rang.

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Everyone went out the door; Jimmie and Alan were the first to
run through the frame, while Isaac stayed behind with Elisa. She
remained with him for the rest of the day; she didn=t want Isaac to be
alone after what happened to him that morning. She wasn't sure about
he told her, the time traveling thing that he detailed was something too
big for her to comprehend. But it since they met so many things had
happened to them that she didn=t doubt anything he said that morning.
What was bothering her then was Isaac=s state of mind; he was
emotionally distress and fragile to survive a day in a Middle School.
AMr. Cunningham,@ Mr. Posh called Isaac before he crossed the
door frame. ACome over here.@
Isaac looked at Elisa, and then walked toward the man in the
wheelchair, AWhat?@ he said.
AI=m goin= to give you detention,@ the teacher said.
AWhat?@ Isaac gave a little shout. AWhat did I do?@
AYou=re a smartly pans, I=m not goin= to take it anymore,@ the
teacher pronounced.
AWhatever,@ Isaac said as he began to move away from the
teacher.

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The Time Key

AYoung man, I=m not finished with you!@


AWhatever!@
Elisa looked at Posh, she shrank her shoulders and smiled with >I
got you= gesture at the man in the wheelchair. She then followed her
friend to the hall.
Isaac was upset this time, more like an angry feeling boiling
through his head, he was tired of letting things happen to him. AFor now
on,@ he told Elisa, AI=m goin= to do something about it.@
AMom says that he was like that when she was in his class.@
AHe taught your mom?@
AYeah, he=s being her forever.@
AMan, he=s old. What happened to his leg?@
AHe lost it in the war,@ Elisa responded.
AWhat war?@
AI think it was Vietnam.@
AI=m tired of him and his attacks,@ Isaac said. ABetween him and
Jimmie they are making my life miserable. Sometimes I want to use the
time key and go back to my parents.@
AIsaac, can you do that?@

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AI don=t know if I can.@ he said with a soured expression on his


face. AAloe, never told me how to use it.@
ABut you had used it. In the school bus when everyone saw your
doubles comin= inside the bus.@ Elisa said. She opened her arm in an
inquiring gesture.
AThat=s the only explanation I can give it to what happened in
those two occasions,@ Isaac said. AIt=s as if I fixed the time-line twist,
something most had happed that we can back to prevent me and Uloe
that something was going to happen. The thing is that when I agreed to
what they asked me, they just vanished in front of us.@
ASo what you are saying is that when you did what they asked
you the timeline was fixed and they were gone because you didn=t go
through whatever was suppose to happen.@
Isaac glanced at her, and said, A I guess!@
The other middle scholars were gathering in front of the school
bus ramp and waited to board into one of the large busses. Isaac gave a
prolonged look to Elisa and then said, AThank you.@
ADon=t say it,@ she said.
AThat=s your bus,@ Isaac said.

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The Time Key

AYeah, remember when we used to take the same bus, you


never say anything to us. We thought that you=re a snoop,@ she said.
AI got to go,@ Isaac said, he felt that he wanted to kiss her.
AWell, I got to go; @ she said her eyes looked down. She wanted
to him to kiss her but she didn=t know how to ask for a kiss so she finally
said, AIsaac, be careful.@
AI will,@ Isaac answered as he moved away from her in his school
bus direction. And as he maneuvered between the other students
waiting to get in their respected transports, he was thinking about her
and how much he likes her. Bobby was right, he thought, she is terrific.
The school bus= glass door opened and the two steps that led to
the main cabin were waiting for the boy to get inside. Isaac didn=t
understand what transpired that morning but it made him feel as if he
was home again, and wanting to feel that sensation again. It
disappointed him that he was going back to the Sheriman=s home.
AAre you gettin= in?@ the fat bus driver said to him.
Isaac looked at the steps, the bus was already full, he felt a little
bit queasy, and then he closed his eyes. His head began to twirl when a
voice said, AAre you getting in?@

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ADad?@ Isaac immediately said.


AWho else?@ Melvin Cunningham said back at his son.
AWhat=re you doin= here?@ Isaac looked around him and realized
that he was standing on Westside Middle School students= pick up
platform, with his friend, Chuck, at his side.
AI=m here to pick you up,@ Mr. Cunningham put like that very
simply. AIsaac what=s with the southern accent?@
Isaac got inside the convertible car, confused with was going on,
but relived that he was not going to the Sherimans. He was not
thinking then, the boy next to him said something close to AI=ll call you,@
but Isaac wasn't sure of that. He knotted looking at the boy; he was his
best friend three years before. Chuck wasn't a ten-year-old boy
anymore, his face was cover with teenage acne and his body was
stronger, but Isaac could recognize him.
AWhat?@ Isaac uttered with confusion.
AWhat=s going on with you?@ said his father while he pulled out
of the ramp.
Isaac didn=t answer he was still feeling weak, he laid his head on
the car=s window as he watch the brick walls that divided the different

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The Time Key

subdivision in the Dr. Philip area. The boy sighed as if a big load was
taken out him shoulders, he was back with his family and he was sitting
next to the man he admired the most in this world. In the other hand he
didn=t understand what was going on. There weren't any indications
from the invasion that in Isaac perspective happened some seven
months before, the streets were filled with debris or burned homes.
Everything was green; the lawns were all well taking care. Isaac put in
the back of his head all the question he wanted to ask his parents about
how he had ended back with them. How was that he come back to
them? And how was that the past in the Burnsides farm never happened
in their parents' perspective? All that was giving him a slide headache,
his was getting heavy and he began to douse-off, but he was afraid of
losing his conscience and then find himself back at Pierson waiting for
the school bus or maybe at the Sherimans with Jimmie and his friend
Alan picking on him. And Uloe asking him questions about the different
gadgets around the disorderly foster-home.
AUloe?@ Mr. Cunningham asked. AWhat=s that?@
Isaac didn=t know if he said Uloe=s name or not. AWhat was
that?@ he asked his father.

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AYou said, >Uloe=,@ his father pronounced the word correctly.


AOh, he a friend,@ he responded as he imaged what could have
happened to the little blond boy he saved from the beastly aliens the
invaded the earth some seven months ago. But what could happen with
him now in this strange time line that his parents were living.
ADad, what day is it?@
AFriday, why?@ his father said. AYou don=t know the days you=re
livin=.@
ADad, this is important, what=s the date?@
AFriday the 13th, I think,@ Melvin Cunningham told his son.
AYou=re sure?@
ANo,@ said Mr. Cunningham. AIt=s the 25th of November, you
should know that.@
Isaac didn=t answer, he put his head back against the car
window, and then thought, I don=t want to fall asleep. if I go asleep I will
go back to Pierson. But his eyes shut anyhow, his sandy blond hair
waved with the wind coming from outside his father blue convertible.
Isaac=s father extended his right hand and caressed his boy waving hair.
Isaac felt his father fingers moving through his hair but he didn=t move

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The Time Key

or said something. I love you Dad, he thought, but I can=t tell you what=s
going on, not until I figured it out.
The convertible turned a right on Wallace Road, as its two
occupants remind silent. The radio was playing a soft tune; Isaac
remembered that his parents' favorite station was Magic 107.7. He
never paid too much attention to the details before, but now that he
was moving between these two dimensions he could help it. Everything
was there to revive a memory, his Dad=s 1963 blue Mustang convertible
was one of his sour memories. As a kid he love the car, it represented
freedom for him, the cool air coming through his hair and the soft music
pounding his ears after his father pick him up from Dr. Philip
Elementary. However after the accident the telescope was only thing he
kept from them; the bank took all of his parents’= possessions, including
the convertible car. The day he was turned to the Children and Family
Services by his neighbors was the same day that the bank repossessed
the blue Mustang.
Aileen Cunningham was on her knees pick doing some yard
work, As always! Isaac thought, his mother a gardener, flowers in the
front yard was a trademark of the Cunningham home. A two-year-old

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J.V. Rosario

girl was by her side, Isaac couldn=t get use to the idea of having a baby
sister. What=s her name? Isaac asked himself, Katie, I think!
AD=you need help?@ Melvin Cunningham shouted at his wife.
ANo, I=m almost done,@ she responded, AYou two go watch, I
have dinner ready.@
AWhat=s for dinner, Mom?@ Isaac broke his silence.
AYour favorite.@
Isaac didn=t remember what it was he just play alone with her
and his father as if nothing was going on. He found out later what his
favorite food: spaghetti and meatballs. The night went well, Isaac
thought, after they ate dinner, they watched some TV, and when it was
time to go to bed Isaac went to his room.
The cell presented itself almost as he let it some three years
before; the posters on the wall were different. A Hellboy poster was
prominent over Isaac=s bed. And as he sat on it and looked around, he
thought about Uloe and Bobby and Elisa, What=s with them in this
timeline? And what about Aloe? And the invasion? I don=t understand
what=s going on here.

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The Time Key

Isaac was afraid to fall asleep again, he didn=t want to wake up in


the Sheriman=s home. For more he fought to stay awake his succumbed
to the night, entering to the realm of the dreams. He saw himself in a
long school corridor, it was not Taylor, It must be Southwest Middle
School, he thought. Isaac didn=t how he knew that >cause he never
entered inside that school=s building before. His friend Chuck was there,
and some other kids he knew from his days in grade school. Jimmie
Sheriman walked near, with Alan and Francis Creamy, they ignored him
then, the three boys walked by talking as if they didn=t know him. Elisa
was waiting in front of the science lab door; she was dressed in a white
coat and black rubber gloves. Isaac couldn=t see her eyes, they were
covered with a pair of blue goggles. Young people about Isaac=s age
displaced from one end of the long corridor to the other end as if they
were going back and forward in an unending loop.
AWhat=s goin= on?@ he said.
AWe are going to sciences!@ Chuck said in a mechanical locution.
AThat=s my friend Elisa,@ he told Chuck.
AI know! Hi, Elisa, what are we doing to day?@
AWe are playing with time,@ she responded.
ATime you can=t play with time,@ Isaac reacted to them.
AAnd, what are you doing with that,@ Chuck said, as he pointed
at the Time-Key hanging from Isaac=s neck.
Isaac felt his neck and touched the fact pen, AHow do you. ..@

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J.V. Rosario

ACome inside,@ Elisa said.


Something ain=t right here, Isaac thought, he glanced at her but
he couldn=t put it together; he remembered seeing people dressed
exactly like her before.
Inside the room there weren’t any furniture and everything was
completely white, Isaac wanted to get out but the door was gone there
anymore.
“Where is this place?” he said.
“This is the time lab,” Chuck said.
“Chuck, how could you know?” Isaac asked the boy that used to
be his best friend.
“I know more than you give me credit,” the boy raised his right
arm and pointed toward the white wall. A wormhole came out of the
white structure, with a vacuum effect that began to suck Isaac into it.
Elisa and Chuck were immune to the effect of the wormhole, only Isaac
was being sucked into the opening.
“No, I don’t want to go back,” Isaac shouted, but no one was
listening to him, “Don’t make me go back I hate it there . . .”

***
“Master, wake up,” a voice said.
Isaac opened his eyes and a blond boy was on top of him, trying
to wake him up from the nightmare. He pushed Uloe off him with force,

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the young boy fell of the bed and hit the floor hard on his behind. Isaac
sat on the bed and looked around the room, he knew where he was.
And with a disappointing expression on his face he lay back, “Oh no God,
I’m back again,” he shouted at the room ceiling.
“Isaac, what is happening to you?” Uloe asked.
“I’m back,” he kept on saying, “I don’t want to come here, I
don’t want to be back here. I was with my parents don’t you see.
They’re my parents and they love me, I want them back.” A slow tear
ran down his eye, his hands came up to cover his face, “Please God I
don’t want to be here,” Isaac said.
“Master,” Uloe tried to call his attention, “we do not need to be
here, and we could escape and live in our own, like we did in . . .”
“You don’t understand,” Isaac said. “There’s not way we could
escape, Social Services will look for us, or we will starve to death.
Where we’re gone to get food?”
“We’ll hunt it,” Uloe said, showing his teeth and making a
gesture with his hand as if he was throwing a spear.
“This ain’t the moon, Uloe,” said Isaac. “We’ll never . . .”
But Isaac didn’t finish his sentence, something click in his head,
he then look at Uloe and said to him, “you know something I can change
all these, I can change everthin’. With this?” Isaac pulled out his
pajama’s t-shirt the time -key.
“What do you mean?”

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“Uloe, you’re a genius,” Isaac shouted. “What we need to do is


to go where my parents had their accident and change what happened.”
“Master, how we are going to do that?”
“They were struck by a drunk driver that was coming by the
corner when they crossed the red-light by the YMCA. I know where it
happened, what we need to do is get there and then use the time-key
and go back in time and change the past. We can do it!”
“But Master if you change one thing in the past you’ll change . .
.”
The door opened and Jimmie ran inside the room, the husky boy
jumped on the bed Isaac bed, pushing away Uloe. Isaac tried to shove
him away too but Jimmie was too strong for him. “I herd everything, and
I want in too,” the boy with the flat face said. “I want to go with you
too. And after we change your past we are going to change my . . .”
“No, Master, do not let him do it,” Uloe howled at Isaac.
“If you don’t shut up, I’m goin’ to kick you . . .”
“Jimmie, you ain’t comin’,” Isaac said.
“If you don’t let me go, I’ll take that from you and I’ll do it my
self,” the flat face boy said, using a threatening tone as he pointed to
the boy’s neckless. “You know I can do it. You know I can kick the
manure out of your hole. But I need you to help me; I want to go back in
time to change some things.”

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“What in hell you want to change?” Isaac said this time in an


angry tone.
“I want my father back, stupid,” Jimmie pronounced loudly. “You
ain’t the only one without a father.”
Uloe and Isaac looked at him, they felt something this time for
the flat head boy had tormented them for the past five months and it
was the first time they felt some kind of human feeling. Jimmie was
after all a boy that suffered a great lost, his father for some mystery he
was not there with them.
“Isaac, I need to know why,” Jimmie said.
“Need to know, what?” Isaac asked Jimmie in disbelieve.
“Master, do not do it, we cannot mend the time line,” the little
boy Uloe told Isaac as he pulled one of his arms down.
“Uloe, what did I tell you, don’t call me that.”
“Why he always called you, master? As if was your slave. Who
are you people? What’s up with you two?”
“Master saved the Earth from the Ttenbanis, seven moths ago,”
Uloe screamed at the flat face boy. “You are so imbecile; he saved my
people and your planet from the Beasts’ invasion.”
“What he’s talkin’ about,” Jimmie shouted back. “The USA sent a
hydrogen bomb and destroyed the stupid moon.”
“You have no idea,” Isaac said as he smiled with a cynical
expression on his face.

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“Well, tell me, are you goin’ to help me?” Jimmie brought his
guard down, it was more like beg for Isaac than a release of his pain; he
was angry about something and he was about to tell Isaac why.
“Why you want to go back in time?”
Jimmie looked at the two boys in front of him, and said, “I want
to know, why he left me?”
“Who?” Uloe asked.
“My father,” Jimmie mumbled, “left us when I was just a boy!”
“How old were you,” Isaac asked, “and where did it happen?”
“It was my seventh birthday . . . just he left without sayin’
anythin’ that same day.”
“And where did that happen?”
“Why you want to know where it happened?” Jimmie asked.
“Cause in that way we could take you to the past,” Isaac said.
“So, you’re goin’ to help me,” Jimmie said with uneasy
expression in his face.
“Yes, we are! Now, tell me where did it happen?”
“Here,” Jimmie said.
“You mean, you lived here when he left you?”
“Yeah, we have lived here all our life.”
“Good,” Isaac reacted with relief. “Let’s do it then.”
“Master, are you sure you want to do that?” Uloe asked while
pulling Isaac’s t-shirt down.

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“We need to do this, Uloe.”


“Why? You do not own him anything.”
Isaac knew that Uloe was telling the truth, he didn’t have to do
this for Jimmie he was risking a lot here he was risking to change the
present. But something was telling him that it was the right thing to do.
And maybe the experience of going back in time to help Jimmie could
help him and Uloe with their time experiment.
“Okay, let’s do it now,” Isaac said.
“Now?” Jimmie asked, showing a little panic on his face.
Isaac thought about how he was going to proceed with his
experiment, he was going to change Jimmie’s present by going back to
his past some five years to the boy’s seventh birthday. He knew that the
process was going to be complicated, and that they needed to go where
they could not be seen by anyone in the past or in the present. Isaac
needed to open a wormhole into the space that will lead them to that a
specific date in time, and he never tried that before. Isaac didn’t
remember using the fat pen, Aloe called the Time-Key, and in the two
other occasions that he couldn’t remember using it the time jump was a
matter of minutes.
So the three boys got out of the house and walked to a small
opening in the woods, where they were going to try the time jump.
“This is a good place,” Isaac said to the other two boys.

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“Why here?” Jimmie shrank his shoulders as he questioned


Isaac.
“We can be seen by others,” Uloe answered.
“And we need to be sure that when we go back in time, the
place is almost the same as when we make the jump.”
Jimmie didn’t understand why, but he went along with the
instruction his foster-brother gave him. The flag face boy thought that
he finally was going to know why his father abandoned his mother and
him that day.
“Jimmie, do you remember what happened that day? Or what
were you doin’?”
“Yeah, why?”
“‘Cause we need to be careful,” Isaac said.
“My mom gave me a birthday party,” Jimmie said.
“Okay, when we get there you better staid hidden,” Isaac
warned him as he pushed some key on the small device. “You’ll ready?”
he asked them
“Ready, Mas- ter,” Uloe said, his lips were quivering.
“O.K.,” responded Jimmie.
The device began to vibrate in Isaac’s hand; it produced a
tinkling sensation on the boy’s fingers. A sensation he thought he was
experienced for the first time, Isaac didn’t remember using the Time-key
before. From the top part of the fat pen an almost invisible bean cross

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The Time Key

in front of the three boys, which it opened a hole in the thin air. They
began to feel a suction sensation coming form the puncture. The winds
were pulling the three boys inside like a vacuum on top of a dirty carpet.
Isaac looked around him and so he could remember the
differences that were around before and after they make the jump into
the past. He then shouted at his time traveler companions, “Ready, to
the count of three . . . One . . . Two . . . Three. Jump now . . .”
Jimmie, Uloe and Isaac held hands as they crossed the threshold.
The hole pulled the three boys inside as if they were ants on the floor
and someone sucks them with a vacuum-cleaner. And as they flouted in
the air an acute sound rang in their ears. Jimmie screamed out his fear
while Isaac and Uloe clinched the lips tied so they could not howl like
the boy with the flat face.
They felt on the ground, Jimmie’s head was spinning, and he felt
that he wanted to vomit his breakfast. “What’s happening? Did we?”
Jimmie tried to talk.
“Master, where are we? It looks as if we did not go any where,”
Uloe said.
Isaac gave him a back look he was tired of him calling him that
way but this time he didn’t correct him. He stood up and glanced
around the green meadow surrounded with pine trees and covered with
the blues sky that only Florida could give on an April morning. Then,
Isaac recalled Jimmie’s birthday. April the 14th, the day the Lincoln was

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shot, a cool air like this only can happen in April, he told himself. Isaac’s
dark blue eyes scanned the surroundings and concluded that they were
in another time, but he didn’t know where.
“We need to move,” Isaac said. “The less time we spend here
the better for us.”
The three boys began to walk out of the abandoned woods, they
hit a back road, which they could recognized homes were under
construction, blocked shells covered with wooden panels forming a
upside-down ‘V’ shape roofs. A small subdivision was being built, “Do
you recognize this place?” Isaac asked Jimmie.
“I think so,” he said. However, he couldn’t get the disorienting
expression out of his flat face, but he was unsure that they were in the
right place. Jimmie remembered the homes under construction, he and
Alan used to play hide-and-seek in those empty houses.
Down the road the subdivision was almost complete, and down
the street there it was, Jimmie’s home. The houses outside walls were
cheerful and colorful, and the lawn was green and mulled.
Balloons decorated the mailbox in front of the home’s driveway
while cars parked on the sidewalk. From inside the house music was
being play, the Hanson’s Unh Bop song blared out through the doors
and windows while kids ran around the home. Jimmie’s birthday party
was happening inside his house.

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Inside the house there were red, white and blue balloons
hanging from the ceiling while ribbons hung from one corner of the
room to another. On the dinning hall table a white and green frosting
cake in the shape of a football field sat undisturbed.
A seven-year-old girl came to the gate to greet Jimmie, Uloe and
Isaac; her bands fell over her blue eyes. She gave a good look to Jimmie
and then said, “Are you Jimmie’s brother?”
“No,” Isaac jumped in before Jimmie had time to answer.
After an awkward moment of silence, Jimmie asked the little girl,
“What’s your name?”
“Elisa,” the three boys stepped back with her answer. “Are you
comin’ in?” she finally said. Jimmie walked ahead to the house front
door while Uloe and Isaac glanced at the little girl, she ran to the back
yard around the side alley.
The whole party moved outside to the back yard, where a
masked fat boy tried to hit a Piñata shaped like football. “That’s me,”
Jimmie said pointing at the little fat boy.
Isaac was surprised with the neatness of the living room; there
weren’t stains on the carpet or on the walls. He couldn’t find any toys
on the floor, or cigarette butts on the in any ash-trade, things that were
common in the present days.
Jimmie began to look through the kitchen glass window for his
mother and father, “There she is,” he said to Isaac.

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“O.K., do you remember what happened that day?” asked Isaac.


Jimmie took his time to answer; he was more amazed with what
was going outside in his backyard. “Yeah,” he responded with
distraction.
“Jimmie, we need to move on,” Isaac called his attention.
“Okay!”
“Well, tell me what happened, Jimmie. Tell why we are here,”
Isaac whispered.
Jimmie turned to look at his foster-brother in the eyes, there
were tears on his. This surprised Isaac, he never expected to see him
crying. “What’s wrong?”
“These were my happy days!”
“I understand,” said Isaac.
“My mother’s goin’ to leave soon, she’ll go inside the house, and
everything will change,” Jimmie responded as he turned around to look
through the window again.
“Okay, so then what happened?”
“I don’t know! She came after a while, her eyes were red. We
cut the cake and then everyone left. My mother when inside her room
and didn’t come out until the next morning,” Jimmie whispered back at
Isaac.
“Okay, let’s wait until she comes back in the house, and the see
what happens,” Isaac said.

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“She is coming in,” Uloe whispered with excitement.


The three boys went out of Mrs. Sheriman’s way, so she didn’t
see them as they displaced outside the house through the front door.
They wanted to look through the window to see what happened
between Jimmie mother and father. Jimmie and Isaac began to peek
through Mrs. Sheriman’s master-room window while Uloe guard for any
that could show up. Inside room there three people, Mr. Sheriman
another man and Mrs. Sheriman that was crying and screaming at the
two men. She yelled out something strange to her husband and the
other man in the room. “You queer . . . ,” was what Isaac understood
from her screaming. Mr. Sheriman and the man got out of the room
and fled the house through the front door. Isaac observed as Jimmie
watched the whole incident without doing anything to stop his father.
His eyes wet but he didn’t want to follow his father he understood what
transpired inside his parents’ room.
Isaac didn’t understand what was happening or why Jimmie
never tried to go after his father as he always said he will do. “Jimmie,
what happened?”
The boy with the flat face and big green eyes didn’t answer; he
only limited to watch his father gets in a car with the other man.
“Let’s go back to the present,” a dispirited Jimmie said.

***

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The other two boys understood that Jimmie wanted to get out
of there as soon as possible, so they left. They returned to the same
point that they used to travel back to the past.
Minimum conversation happened between the three young
boys; Jimmie’s eyes were red but he didn’t shed a tear, as if he tried to
stop them from coming out. And once they were back in time, the boys
stood in front of the same house.
“What’re you goin’ to do now?” Jimmie asked Isaac and Uloe.
“We needed to go,” Isaac said.
“But, where’re you goin’?”
“We need to go back to Orlando,” Isaac said, “to where I used to
live.”
“How you goin’ to get there?”
“I don’t know!”
Jimmie took some eight seconds to say something, “Let me take
you,” he then said.
“How?”
“We’ll use my mom’s truck,” said Jimmie.
“But Jimmie, you don’t have a . . . license . . .”
“Don’t worry about it,” Jimmie said. “I look older that what I
am.”

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Isaac said nothing; he was needed to get out of there as soon as


possible he wanted to get back his parents. It didn’t matter to him the
consequence of changing the world.
“Okay,” Isaac said as he looked at Uloe. The little blond boy with
purple eyes understood more than he was letting everyone know.

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Chapter V
Minutes from Home

J
immy drove his mother’s pick up truck with a lot of confidence, as
if he was an experience driver. However, he tried to stay away
from the main roads, such as the mighty I-4 corridor. Isaac was
impressed with his foster-brother skills in the driver’s seat; he even
thought that Jimmie wasn’t as bad as he thought he was.
The truck took the boys through the 17-92 roads and then
through the busy corridor, the bumper to bumper way slowed the boys
considerably. A boredom feeling hit them as they waited to reach their
destiny. Isaac guided Jimmie by the time they got in the Dr. Phillip’s
area. Their destiny was the corner of Wallace and Dr. Phillip Boulevard
right where the Isaac old school was located diagonal to the YMCA,
where his father took him to play so many times. The roads were busy;
the rush hour prompted all the vehicles at ones on the roads.
Isaac, Jimmie and Uloe did a little talk as the truck moved closer
to their target; the boys were seduced by the slow movement of the
traffic, and the holiday music that was coming uninterrupted from the
radio. Isaac then thought about Christmas with his parents, in his old
house, in his last one he found under the tree new computer software.
He still remembered, it was a Star War’s Attack of the Clone software for
his computer, rear, but his father managed to find one for him. His

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father never gave him anything that wasn’t new or fascinating, and
never scraped for prices.
In a strange way Isaac never forgot his father for leaving him
without anything after he and his mother were killed in the car accident.
Through his mind the images of the people from Children Services
taking him away from his house as a little man from Bank of America
putting a for-closure sign in front of his house boiled his blood. At that
time he could not figure out what was happening to his things, to his
house, to all the nice things his father bought for him and his mother.
But now he knew, his parents lived for the moment and never provided
for the future.
“Isaac,” a voice said, and Isaac jumped out of his day dream. It
was Jimmie. They were near to their destination.
“Yes,” Isaac responded, a sourer taste came to his mouths then.
His heart was about to jump out his chess. They were at the corner of
Wallace and Dr. Philip, right in front of the YMCA.
“What do you want me to do?” Jimmie asked.
“Turn inside the parking lot of the YMCA,” Isaac said, “you can
leave us there.”
Jimmie thought for a moment as he pulled the truck in the
parking space, he then asked Isaac, “What’re you goin’ to do?”
Isaac opened the truck’s door and as he dismounted he
responded, “Jimmie, I want to go home, I had a good life before I was

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moved to Seville, and I want it back. I want it back. I want to see my


parents again.”
“How’re you goin’ to do that?”
“I’m goin’ to go back in time, so I can save my parents from the
drunk that killed them,” said Isaac, showing an emotion that Jimmie
never saw in him before.
“Are you sure about that?” he asked his foster brother.
“Yes,” Isaac responded while shutting the pick up truck’s door.
The little boy, Uloe, stood behind his Master without saying a thing in
favor or against to what Isaac was going to do at that point.
Jimmie looked at his new friend, the flat face boy knew that
everything was going to be different from now own, but he didn’t now
how different. He didn’t have an idea about the changes that were
about to happen in their lives. “Okay, man I see you around,” He finally
said. He then began to steer the pick up truck out of the parking space.
“Jimmie,” Isaac called him. The truck stopped in its miss as Isaac
ran to look inside the small cockpit. “You want to come with us?” said
Isaac.
Jimmie didn’t think twice, “No,” he said, “I don’t want to be
disappointed again.”
“Sorry that your Dad didn’t work out for you,” Isaac said.
“Forget about it! That’s what I’m goin’ to do, its better that way.
He’s a looser, a fag looser.” Jimmie choked in his words; and his eyes

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turned pinkish while tears flouted. “My Mom needs me more now than
ever . . . You know Isaac I was a jerk to you . . . and I’m sorry . . . If we
see each other again, I hope is in a better circumstance.”
“Yeah man!”
“Good luck to you two,” those were the last words Jimmie said
to Isaac, he then drove out of the YMCA parking lot. And while Isaac
and Uloe observed the pick up truck getting eluding the afternoon traffic
on Dr. Philip Blvd., a sense of nostalgia invaded the two boys left behind.
“Master Isaac, what are we going to do next,” the little boy with
the platinum hair asked Isaac.
“We’re goin’ home, Uloe. I’m goin’ home.”
“Master Isaac, how are you going to do that?”
“Right there in that intersection my parents were killed by a
drunk driver three years ago,” Isaac said.
“What is a drunk driver?”
“A murderer . . .” Isaac closed his dark blue eyes as he
responded to Uloe’s question. “Come with me . . . I need to make my
calculation to jump back in time moments before the accident.” He
then pulled the necklace hanging from his neck, and immediately
pushed the necessary keys on the fat pen that Aloe gave him before
they when back to space.
“What are you doing, Master Isaac?”

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“I think I got it, it’s not difficult: numbers, dates, and time. We
can go now, Uloe.” And as Isaac said that an opening in the thin
happened, a crystal tunnel that was sucking everything that was in front
of it. “Jumped,” Isaac shouted while pulling Uloe’s left sleeve.
The wormhole suck Uloe and Isaac inside and in minutes they
were on the other side, which was the same sidewalk in front of Dr.
Philip’s ‘Y’. The two kids ended on the floor, this wasn’t the first time
they traveled through the strange opening, and Isaac thought that he
will never get use to the powerful force.
With the exception of the trees on the boulevard, that looked
shorter than before, everything appeared identical to Isaac. Other than
the water tower needed a paint job, the neighborhood next to the
YMCA was just the same. Isaac made a 360-degrees-rotation to look at
the place; it was a magical feeling for him. He was back to where
everything began, time was a strange thing for him, and he now knew
that everything happens. Isaac understood that time did not move
lineally that there was a veil between dimensions that were thinner that
what they appear to be.
“Master Isaac, what should we do now?” Uloe asked as he pull
Isaac’s sleeve shirt.
“We wait,” Isaac responded. “We’ll seat in the sidewalk and wait
till 5:37 PM, that’s their time of death.”

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“But Master, how are we going to change time?” Uloe asked,


with a despairing expression on his faces.
“I’ll sacrifice, Uloe!”
Uloe didn’t understand what Isaac meant by that, he just
silenced and waited as Isaac told him to do. The time was 3:00 PM and
they needed to wait at least two hours before the junction in time they
needed to break.
Dr. Philip Elementary was letting its students go; the school
busses were loading the young people inside their bellies. A man with a
megaphone was directing traffic, while some students crossed the
boulevard. Isaac recognized some of the boys crossing the street, there
were his friends, but they looked to young to him, in a moment he
forgot that he and Uloe moved back in time two and a half year into the
past. So his friends at Dr. Philip were at that time at least two years
younger.
More children began to cross the boulevard; Isaac then
remembered that he, himself, also crossed it. His friend Chuck and he
walked home from school every afternoon, and that afternoon he was
not different than others. He could not figure out what he wanted to
do at the junction, what can it happen if young, Isaac could see him
standing in that corner? But Isaac did not have time to answer the
questions, his younger alter ego was crossing the road, younger Isaac
Cunningham was crossing the street flanged by his friend Chuck.

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The younger Isaac locked his bright blue eyes on the dark blue
eyes of the older Isaac as if they were brothers. The younger Isaac
paused for a second a question was planted all over his face, but his
friend Chuck pulled him by his right sleeve and he continued moving
forward. For the older Isaac, it was as if he just saw a ghost from the
past, but he made a decision not to interfere with his own self from the
past this time. He needed to stop the accident and everything would be
different for him and his family.
“That boy was you, Master Cunningham?” Uloe asked waking
Isaac from his thoughts.
“Yeah, that was me.”
More children were coming through the crossing, Isaac
remembered them all, and they were his elementary school friends and
foes. It was as if a video tape of his friends and neighbors was playing
on a giant TV screen. Maria Fortuna walked by and looked at him; she
was the Puerto Rican girl that he liked when he was in Dr. Philip
Elementary. She was followed by his friends, Rodney and Patrick.
Patrick’s mom took care of Isaac immediately after he received the news
about his parents’ death. But, after a while she called social services to
come and get him from his house. At the time Isaac didn’t understand
that they could not keep him as another member of his family.
“Master Cunningham, how are you going to do to stop the
accident?”

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The Time Key

But Isaac never answered the questions, he was more into


people watching then, the pictures that he was observing, and in the
back of his mind he provably didn’t want to answer the question.
“I’m thirsty,” he said, “let’s go inside the ‘Y’, there’s always
somethin’ to drink there.”
Uloe’s frustration with Isaac was coming to a boiling point, but
he soured obedience to Isaac and he was not going to question Isaac’s
decisions. He and Aloe had agreed that he will stay on Earth with Isaac,
so he could protect the boy that has the Time Key. But at this moment
he didn’t know if Isaac was making the sound decisions.
The two boys from the future crossed Wallace Road, and walked
to the Dr. Philip’s Y where Isaac played Little Leagues for his Dad’s team
right behind the building’s parking lot. The same curly hair woman was
sitting in the front desk reading a magazine; she ignored the two kids
coming through the glass window. Isaac never like this lady, she got in
his case in several occasions when his family had a membership, he used
to infiltrate his friend Chuck in the basketball court. Chuck’s family
wasn’t able to afford the membership, but anyhow he played and used
of the facilities thanks to Isaac’s ability to infiltrate him while the curly
hair fat woman was not watching. Just then he remembered that the
last time he tried the scheme was the day before his parents’ accident.
But, Isaac was not there to play basketball or to use the weight
room, everything was the way he remembered it. He loves the place; he

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loves to come after school and use the pool when it was hot outside, or
play a prank to the after school care people. Isaac was there to change
the future and he was about to take a big gamble, and even though he
was certain to what he was going to do he was very nervous. He and
Uloe passed the front desk without any difficulties the curly hair lady
was reading her cosmopolitan magazine and as always she did not pay
attention to who was coming in and out of the building. They went to a
water fountain in the main corridor right by the glass walls that divided
the long hall with the exercise room.
Inside the room Isaac could see himself through the mirrors in
the back walls of the room. It was empty, no one was exercising, the
equipment looks like an alien room too Isaac in does days. He used to
walk inside it just to use his imagination; he thought that he was in an
engine room of a spaceship, like the Enterprise. Now he didn’t care
about science fiction as he used to before he encountered the Beasts,
and the Queen that ruled them. He didn’t have dreams anymore, and he
hated himself for not having them. Isaac was a lot smarter, he could
read hundred times faster than before and his memory increased to the
point that he have a photogenic memory, but he would give it all for a
normal life with his parents, and that was what he was going to do.
Uloe didn’t drink water, he limited himself to observe his
Master, the boy that he soured to protect and defend from all evil. He
promised his King that he will protect Isaac from any malignancy that

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could come in their ways. And he was suspicious of Isaac behavior, his
Master was planning something that he did not share with him. And he
too was nervous of what could happen if Isaac was able to change the
future with the Time Key.
“Let’s go it almost time,” said Isaac.
“Master Cunningham,” Uloe stopped made his question; he
didn’t want Isaac to get angry. “What are you plans?”
“You’ll see, my friend, everything will be fined. Don’t you
worry,” Isaac passed his hand over Uloe’s platinum-hair, “I want to tell
something, before go up there.”
There was a pause between them at that point. Uloe looked at
him with an odd feeling as if this was going to be the last time he was
going to see Isaac. Something strange was happing in Isaac’s eyes, they
were watering. His face was full of emotion, but Uloe couldn’t see it. “I
love you Uloe,” Isaac said then, “You’re the brother I never had, and
whatever happens in the next hour remember that.”
“In my planet, there is not a word that can translate to that,”
Uloe said as his face smile with his eyes. “But I understand that you care
for me, as I care for you Isaac. But why are you telling me this?”
“Let’s get out of here and I’ll tell you,” said Isaac.

The two boys sat on the side walk, as they waited for the
junction in time, which was going to change their lives. Cars were

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passing, the rush hour just started and people were driving home, some
joggers ran in front of the two boys. A couple walked their dog as the
sun was inclining to the west; Isaac was waiting for a signal that he only
knew when it was going to happen, so he could act.
“Master Cunningham, would you tell me what your plans are?”
Uloe asked with preoccupation.
“You know that we had changed time twice,” said Isaac.
“How do you know that?”
“The incidents in the school busses, I had been thinking about
them. And I reach to the conclusion that every time that we go back in
time and tamper with the time-line, everything changed. And people
wouldn’t remember how or what happened. The only clue we had was
when we sow ourselves coming to ask us not to let the Bus cross the
railroad track and the we disappeared or they. It’s not confusing!”
Uloe said no words here; he just looked at Isaac and asked him
to continue with his purple eyes.
“Okay, for me this is the moment in time that change my life,
right here in about five minutes a pick-up truck with a drunk is going to
cross that intersection and smack my parents’ vehicle, and they will
die.”
“But, Master Cunningham, I do not understand . . . what do you
want to do?”
“Uloe, I crossed the truck’s path!”

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“But, you will be killed,” Uloe said with a puzzling look on his
face.
“Yes, but my life will be different,” Isaac answered. There was
nervousness feeling in Isaac’s dark blue eyes, as if he wasn’t completely
sure of what he was going to do. “You see Uloe, if I change what
happened here three years ago, I mean now . . . My parents will never
die and I don’t have to live with any foster-parents anymore, my life will
be better. This time line will cease to exist. I will have my life back, my
parents and my sister yet to be born will be alive. Don’t you see, I need
to make this sacrifice?”
“Sacrifice, what does that means?” Uloe said.
But the light change to green on Dr. Philip Blvd. and red on
Wallace Rd. a Town and Country Van stopped behind two other vehicles
on the road. On Dr. Philip a red and gray 1968 Ford truck was weaving
from side to side of the road, its muffler was producing a high volume of
gas, at the same time that an annoying sound came from it.
“That’s them,” Isaac said to himself.
“What are you going to do?” Uloe asked as he looked at the
incoming weaving Ford truck.
On the Wallace Road the light changed to green, but the car in
front of the line stole, and didn’t move until his driver turned it on again.
The green truck on the boulevard wove from left to right at high speed;
its muffler announced its proximity to the intersection. While the line of

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cars on Wallace began to move finally, and Isaac’s parents were ready to
cross the intersection.
“NOW,” Isaac screamed, as he ran to the middle of the
boulevard, in front of the coming Ford truck. Its driver focused his
blurring eyes on the boy that crossed his path, and in a sudden move the
man pulled his truck’s guiding wheel to the right. The vehicle missed
Isaac completely; it crossed the middle island and charged on Uloe’s
direction, missing him by a few feet, braking against a chain-link fence in
front of the YMCA.
The three vehicles that just crossed the intersection stopped to
see if the driver and the boy in the corner were fined.
Isaac froze, he didn’t expect to see the truck going in Uloe’s
direction, he wanted to truck to hit him, so the time line would change
with his death and a new will continue with his 10 year old contra part.
But, Uloe was fined he missed as well as the truck driver, and his
parents, whom stepped out of their van you see what just had
happened in front of them.
Melvin Cunningham scanned the surroundings before he moved
to see how the man in the truck was. He and Isaac, in a strange way,
connected eye to eye, Mr. Cunningham thought that he knew this boy,
he looked familiar to him. On the other hand Isaac felt odd, he was not
suppose to be there anymore and he was expecting to vanish, his time

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line was over, he and Uloe were to disappear in the thin air, like it
happened before. However, it didn’t happen; he was still there.

***
Nothing happened the way Isaac expected, in two previous
occasions, he and his friend Uloe change the past so they could restore a
new time line. Isaac was confused this time, he thought that by him
getting in front of the truck that killed his parents he would change the
past and everything that he lived in the past two years would be erased.
He was expecting to vanish like in the two bus incidents, so that the
ten-year-old Isaac with his parents will continue a new time line.
However that didn’t occur, he was now standing there, watching how
everything unfolds.
Isaac walked to Uloe, he didn’t understand what was happening,
and something when wrong and he wanted to find out what it was.
While on the corner of Wallace and Dr. Philip, his father helped the
drunken drive to step out of his gray truck, Isaac gave the man a good
look this time; he was never told the name of the man that killed his
parents.
“How’s that possible?” he said to himself.
“What did you say, Master?” Uloe interrupted his bizarre day
dream.

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“That’s Jimmie’s dad!” he said to Uloe. “He’s the man that killed
my parents.”
“Now anymore, Master, you changed that past.”
“I ain’t sure of that . . .”
“Are you OK?” some said to Isaac.
Isaac looked up and saw his mother standing there in front of
him. “Yeah!” said he.
“Why did you cross in front of the truck?” Isaac’s mother asked
him.
Inside his head he was screaming to say, because I wanted to
save your life, but that didn’t come out. “I didn’t see him comin’,” he
finally said.
“What’s your name?” the fragile woman asked the tall boy in
front.
The boy that never smiles grinned for the first time in many
months. “I-Isaac,” he responded to his mother’s question, “Isaac Cun-
Cummings.”
“My son’s name is Isaac too,” she said. “You look familiar to me
. . .”
“I played Little League last year . . .” Isaac pulled Uloe by the arm
and began to walked away from Mrs. Cunningham, leaving her with the
words in her mouth.

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The two boys moved away from the accident, north on Dr. Philip
direction. Two old subdivisions posted on each side of the boulevard, at
that time of the afternoon people were out jogging or walking their dogs
and cars frequently passed by on both sides of the road. Isaac was
looking for a place were he could activate the Time Key so they could go
back to the present and see why his time line was still running. Ahead
the Southwest Middle School building was getting ready to let out the
mass of students, school busses lined around the student’s pick-up
ramp. There was not an appropriate place for them to jump back to the
future, too many people around.
Uloe was still confused with Isaac intention; he didn’t
understand what kind of sacrifice Isaac was talking about. In his culture
the word didn’t have any meaning, so he went alone with all his Master
asked him to do. The young boy never understood that Isaac was
putting his family over him, at that point.
“Master, where are we going?”
“Back to the future,” said Isaac.
“Are we going back to Ms. Sheriman’s home?”
“No, if I can help it!”
“So, what are we looking for now?
“A place where we can do the jump to our present,” Isaac
responded.
“Why not do in it here?” Uloe opened his purple eyes wide.

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“Too many people around,” Isaac said, “we can get in trouble if
we do so.”
“Master, we will not be here to get in trouble, as you say,” Uloe
sounded like an old man.
“You’re right,” Isaac said then after. “We can do this here, now!
It’d matter if they see us disappearing into space. You right, Uloe”
The school bell rang in the moment, every door on the side of
the building opened, and all the souls inside the classroom came out at
the same time, rushing toward the bus loot. A woman with a
megaphone began to direct the student’s traffic, while a man in shorts
moved forward the vehicles on the ramp. Isaac thought that they
most be the school principal and one of the P.E. teachers of the school.
In a way he felt some kind of satisfaction to be able to use the Time Key
in front of the two adults. “Let’s do it,” Isaac told himself.
Isaac, then, pointed the time key to the opened space in front of
them. Uloe watched his Master pushed the necessary codes in the small
device; a ray of light came out of the fat pen. Some of the students that
were going home on their bicycles watched Isaac pulling the stun with
amazement. The whole scene looked as if Isaac was holding in his hand
a 4th of July colorful flare. And then an opening in space raptures, a
faunal shape wormhole appeared over the sidewalk like a sideway
tornado.

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“What’s that?” a boy shouted to his friend. From the school bus
loot the two adults in charge the students’ embarkment fixed their eyes
on what the strange boys were doing on the street in front of the school.
“Are you ready,” Isaac asked Uloe.
“Yes, Master Cunningham,” the platinum blond boy answered.
Isaac held his hand and moved forward toward the opening,
“let’s do it, Uloe. Jump
The two boys were sucked by the mouth of the wormhole, as if a
giant vacuum cleaner swallowed them.

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Chapter VI
Red Sky

G
et off me,” the older boy said; Uloe had fall on top of Isaac as
they came out of the hole in the air.
Isaac stood up and looked around him, he could
recognize the place at first, “Where’re we?” he said.
“We are supposed to be in the same place but in a different
time,” Uloe pronounced clearly.
“Yeah, but this place doesn’t look the same,” Isaac said.
The school building was there, but all its windows were gone, as
if they were blown away in an explosion of some kind. The walls
around the window frames were burned from the inside out. The nice
and neat lawn was not there anymore, instead a long nasty weak took it
place. The streets were desolated, Isaac couldn’t see any vehicles
transiting the street in front the middle school building or coming from
the subdivisions.
A red sky overcast the entire are as if a great forest fire was
burning in the distance. If Isaac didn’t know that place so well he could
image that they were in another country or to that matter in another
world. But the building still had the Southwest Middle School sign on
the wall, other than missing one “o’ in the word school it was easy to
read.
“Something happened here,” Isaac said.
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“Master, I think that we had changed the future,” Uloe


responded.
“Don’t be crazy,” Isaac quickly said.
A tremendous sound hit the ground then, the two boys jumped
out of their skins, it was coming from the distance and they couldn’t see
what made the sound. It was something mechanical, as if something
was blasting the ground with a giant iron. Whatever it was began to
move quickly toward the two boys.
“What’s that?” Isaac shouted, the sound was getting closer and
he couldn’t hear himself.
“MASTER,” Uloe howled.
“What? WHAT?”
The little boy’s facial expression exhibit a frighten favor, then
out of the blue he shouted, “Beast, the beasts . . .”
Isaac turned to look at what Uloe was pointing, a white gigantic
three-legged contraction was moving in their direction rapidly. He had
never seen this thing before, source dish mounted on a rotation disk
with three protuberance mechanical legs, and on top of the source dish
a long ringed neck that ended with spotlight cannon. Through a
windshield window Isaac could see inside of the source dish, a beast
man was controlling the machine from an inside cockpit. And that thing
was coming at them.

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“RUN,” he shouted as he pulled Uloe by the arm, the two boys


ran into what they thought it was an empty school building. The three-
legged machine accelerated toward them, it fired a bright light from the
spotlight cannon. The white light burned a spot on the side walk near
where Isaac and Uloe were standing.
The boys ran across the wheat field and jumped inside the
building through a window. They landed on a floor covered with glass
and debris. The students’ desks were all put randomly by a corner in
the classroom. A strange mist flouted over the room floor as if a
chemistry experiment had gone bad. In the back of the room someone
was moving under the pile of students’ desks.
Outside school the three-legged machine moved close to the
window, the beast was still searching for the boys. Two claws began to
hit the school walls, shaking them as if an earthquake was ravishing the
building ground.
Uloe and Isaac froze out, they didn’t know what to do, the claws
outside the room were searching for them and back in the room, under
a desk pile, someone was moving. The two boys didn’t want to make a
sound; they knew that if a small vibration came out of them the three-
legged machine would detect them.
Isaac’s eyes opened wide, the desks were moving and whatever
it was outside the felt them shifting away. A white metal arm clawed
with three long fingers came inside the classroom; it was scanning for

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the two boys that sleeved away few minutes ago inside the bricked
building. Then, the desks moved and a boy rapidly came out from
between them and the arm shifted its direction, and moved toward the
young boy that was holding some kind of riffle in his hands. The boy
fired a ray of light from his riffle straight to the claws. The white arm felt
on the floor dissected by whatever was shot at it by the boy shooting at
it.
Isaac look in astonishment at the boy that jump out of the pile of
desk, it was he, a longer hair and dirty version of himself. Another
Isaac Cunningham from another time or another dimension. Behind
him his friend Chuck who was the first one that spotted the two boys
that were hiding against the classroom wall.
“What-ta-heck?” Chuck shouted, as he took a good look at Isaac
and Uloe.
But there was not time for chat the Machine was still outside
looking for the two boys. The mechanical monster began pounding
against the wall with the claws that it still possessed. Isaac moved
inside the room, passing between the two boys with the ray guns. The
two Isaacs looked at each other in amazement, but none of them said a
word to each other. There was not time outside the white mechanical
tripod was hitting the walls with fervor.
“I don’t understand why they don’t finish us with the cannon
ray,” Chuck murmured between his lips.

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“I know . . . Let’s get out of here,” the other Isaac said as he


pulled his double out of the room and into the school corridor.
Uloe fallowed the three older boys, shouting, “Master, what is
happening?”
“Shut-out,” Chuck whispered at the new comers. “They can
track us with movement and sound. The more we move or talk the more
they can see where we are.”
Isaac wondered how did he know that, but he didn’t ask them,
he saw that they were busy trying to figure-out how to get out of the
bad situation.
“Let’s go through the girls’ bathroom,” Isaac whispered to his
friend Chuck as he looked as his double and the little boy that was
accompanying him.
“Com 'on this way,” Chuck said pulling his friend double by his T-
shirt left sleeve, while they move slowly through the school halls as they
felt the tripod mechanical thing hitting the walls of the classroom they
just left.
The four boys ran to the end of the corridor where two orange
doors marked with boys’ and girls’ restroom signs. The room was filled
with open card board boxes and long farm tools that were converted
into spears. The other Isaac and his friend Chuck sat under the hand
wash tubs while they indicated the other two boys to do the same.

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Isaac could stop looking at the long hair boy that looks like him,
he knew that it was his double, a little more dirty more skinny and less
boyish than he was. Something had happened, something horrible had
happened and he could figure out what, the present of his double
clouded his reasoning at that point. The two boys were about the same
age, and it was if was looking in the mirror, with the exception of the
long shady hair and the dirty clothes the other boy was without a doubt
Isaac’s twin.
The long hair boy was looking throughout an opening on the
girls’ bathroom door as his friend Chuck sat directly facing at Isaac and
Uloe. “Hay, this guy looks like you . . .” said Chuck, with surprise on his
face. Chuck’s voice came loud out of his mouth and vibrated through
the school abandoned corridors.
Outside the school the white metal machine perked up and
began to move in the girls’ bathroom direction, demolishing everything
on it way. The school hall that divided the classrooms form one side to
another was being leveled by the powerful mechanical apparatus.

“We need to run,” Isaac told his double, “it’s


coming this way.”
The two boys made eye contact for the first time since they saw
each other in the classroom some minute before.

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“Let’s go . . .” the long hair Isaac said to the others. A sadness in


his eyes showed, as if something really bad had happened to him
recently.
Outside the building three new machines appeared in the scene,
they began to demolish the entire school facility, slamming the bricked
walls with their long mechanical claws. The school halls were opened
to the red skies that surrounded the city, a warn wing came inside the
girls’ restroom. The four boys needed to make a mad dash out into the
open where three huge machines were pealing apart the whole
structure.
“We got to go,” the long hair Isaac shouted. “If we don’t go
now, we’re going to die here.”
“Let’s go . . .” Isaac said.
The long hair boy picked up a broken brick from the floor and
threw it through the room only windows. Isaac, Uloe and Chuck
followed him through the small window on the cracking wall, and as
they left the room collapsed behind them, leaving a cloud of dust in the
air.
The three machines pounding the walls of what it was at one
time Westside Middle School, were on aware that boys escape inside a
cloud of rudder dust. The clumsy mechanical tripod lost side of their
target as they ran into the destroyed subdivision behind the school
grounds.

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Isaac knew well where his double was taking him, Chuck, his
best friend at that time, lived down the street from the Middle School.
But now everything looked different, the whole entire neighborhood
was destroy as if a hurricane just past through. Their houses still
burning from whatever attacked them, others were just a pile of rubber
on the ground, and very few homes were still untouched.
“Where are we going?” Uloe asked Isaac.
“I think I know,” Isaac responded as he held Uloe’s hand, he was
leading the young boy while trying to kick up with the other two boys.
Isaac double and his friend Chuck stopped in front of a two
stories house, with a front garage door busted, yes it was Chuck house,
Isaac thought. But this house was not cleaned or tied up; it looks more
like pigs’ pen.
“Chuck . . .” Isaac began to say.
“How do you know my name?” Chuck said with a hostile tone in
his voice.
“I know you,” said Isaac, “and you.” He looked straight to his
double’s eyes.
But the long hair Isaac did not say anything; he just made a
gesture with his face and led them inside the house.
Isaac remembered that as a kid he visited Chuck’s house in many
occasions; he used to play in his buddy’s room and go swimming in their
back yard pool. Chuck was the only child the Bryonies had, so they

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encouraged Isaac to come as much as he could to visit with Chuck. His


fine facial line and blue eyes were sad, this time. The house was a
complete mess, there box and paper bags from Win-Dixie, Publix, Food
Lion, Wal-mart, and many other establishments, filled mainly with cam
foods. The two boys made some shopping, it was clear to Isaac that
something have happened.
They went up-stairs to what it used to be Chuck’s parents
master room, a big king size bed dominated the small room. Chuck and
long hair Isaac dropped their equipment on the floor and rushed to the
window, and scanned the outside.
“Can you tell me what’s goin’ on?” Isaac demanded.
“No, you tell me who you are?” said the other Isaac.
There was a pause between the four boys, Uloe didn’t take his
eyes from his master, and he was waiting to see what he was going to
say.
“My name is Isaac Cunningham,” he said.
“No,” paused, “I’m Isaac Cunningham.”
“How’s that possible?” Chuck opened his eyes, with an
incredible expression on his face, while Uloe held Isaac’s hand firmly.
“I’m,” said Isaac. “And I think you are too.”
“How?” the long hair boy said, “You know something about
what happened?”
“I don’t know if you don’t tell me what has happened.”

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“Don’t you know?” Chuck said. “We were invaded by some


creature from out space, and we’re defeated. And since this happened
those creatures are trying to get Isaac. They had been trying to get him
twenty-four seven . . . Wait a minute, what is these to are some kind of
robots or shape-shifter that are trying to locate you?” Chuck panicked.
“No, I’m not,” said Isaac. “I’m . . . we’re time travelers,”
“Er- how’s that possible?” Chuck asked the two boys.
“It’s a long story,” said Isaac, “but first I need to know how all
this happened.”
“What do you need to know?” asked the other Isaac.
“What happened?”
“Well everything started when the new moon showed up,”
Chuck began to say.
“The new moon,” a disappointed look came to the long hair
Isaac’s face, “those bastards!”
“They came down with big fleet of UFOs and began shooting at
the big cities and at everything that we sent them to destroy them. But,
we weren’t a matched for them, in less than two months all the armies
of the words were destroyed by them.” Chuck told Isaac and Uloe what
happened.
In some way, Isaac knew this tale, he knew that something he
had done had change the course of history and everything was

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completely different now. “And what happened to your families?” he


then asked.
Chuck gestured with his shoulders, and then answered Isaac’s
question. “They were sucked by a strange machine they brought to the
neighborhood. My folks, Isaac’s and his sister were term in to meat for
those bastards.”
Uloe then asked, “How did you survive?”
“We ran away,” the long hair Isaac said, as he sighted deep from
his lungs. It was not that he was crying; it was an angry tear, his eyes
got red, a hopeless feeling showed up in double’s dark blue eyes.
Something horrible had happened to him, as if he was a witness of a
dreadful scene.
Isaac didn’t ask anymore questions, he knew that he had
changed history and that he needed to restore back that what he had
done. But Isaac was hypnotized by his contra part, he wanted to spend
a little more time with him, he saw him as a twin brother, not as another
part of himself. This Isaac had suffered more that himself, all around
him was destroyed and ravished by those monsters moving the strange
machine outside of what it used to be their neighborhood.
A creeping loud sound came inside the house, one of the
machines changed course toward the house the four boys inhabited. It
sounded as if someone was blowing a trumpet. Isaac opened the

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The Time Key

bedroom window blinds and saw that the two legged machine was
moving very fats in his direction.
“Jesus,” he exclaimed as one of the tentacles of the chromium
machine penetrated the window and grad Isaac’s twin by the arm.
The apparatus began pulling the boy out of the room and
through the broken window without any effort, while the other three
boys watched in disbelief.
Isaac’s twin screamed, as if he was leading to his final
destination, from the top of his lumps at the same time that the
machine squeezed the boy’s right arm. There was not resistance them
the boy was out on the street in no time, while Isaac, Chuck and Uloe
watched the whole incident from the shattered window of the two
stories home. They were muted, as two beastly animals search the
body of the unconscious boy; he was being stripped by them as if they
were looking for something.
“They think he is me,” Isaac said to himself.
“Why do you say that, Master?” Uloe asked.
“They are searching for the Time Key . . .”
“The Time Key?” Chuck didn’t let him finish. “We herd them
talking about that some weeks ago.”
Isaac pulled his neckless out of his shirt and showed Chuck.
“Who are you?”

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Isaac didn’t answer immediately, he was thorn between what


to do, help his brother or twin, or move on and get out of the time-line
he had created.
“Who are you?” Chuck whispered again looking at his friend
double.
“I am him, and he is me,” said Isaac with a puzzling expression in
his eyes.
“What’s that suppose to mean?” Chuck groaned.
“I came hear using this device,” said Isaac as he showed his
neckless to his old friend. “I’m from another time-line or another
dimension if you must. I don’t expect you to understand. You never like
the science fiction as I did. Remember?”
Chuck looks at his friend, with an odd expression and then said,
“I can believe anything now that I see it happened. All this is like living
Independence Day, but this time we are losing. Those machines are
destroying everything they find in the way.”
“Master, what are we going to do with the other self? Are we
going to save him from the Beats?” Uloe interrupted the conversation.
“Yeah, we need to save him,” Isaac responded, with an unsure
gesture in his eyes.
“How we’re goin’ do that?” Chuck asked, as he looked again
through the broken Venetian Blinds. “These things were looking for us
for a long time.”

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“What do you mean?”


“It looks as if they were targeting us or Isaac. As if they were
looking for Isaac more than any other people around the neighborhood.
You know what I mean?”
Isaac and Uloe looked at each other as if they understood better
that Chuck gave them credit. “They are looking for the Time Key,” Uloe
said to Isaac.
“I know,” Isaac sighted.
“What’s the Time Key,” whispered Chuck, the alien beasts began
to move away from the house. They were dragging Isaac’s twin with
them, puling him with the mechanical claws. They registered the boy
and it looks as if the found nothing in him. “We need to go now, if we
are going to save him,” Chuck shouted at the two of them.
“Let’s go,” Isaac said.
“Master, no,” said the little blond boy. “If we go after him, we
risk to be caught and then they will have the Time-Key, and all these will
be the permanent time line.” There was some urgency in his voice. “We
need to go back to the past to change what you did.”
“No,” Isaac shouted. “I’ll not goin' to do that!”
“Master, you have too. It’s the only way that could save your
world now. You do not see what is happening? When you changed you
parents’ accident, you changed the time line. You were never in a
fostered child with the Robert Fuller’s grandparents, and Aloe never

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found you there to save your world and us from the Ttenbanis and the
Queen.”
Isaac remained quiet. He was in denial; he wanted his parent
back, saving from a fate that was going to dooms them for ever.
“Master, we need to go back to the road in front of the school,
so we can go back in time. Your parents most die in the accident again.”
“Uloe, I can’t do that,” Isaac said. “They are my parents. I can
stand there and watch them die, as if it was nothing to it.”
“In this time line they are dead,” Chuck said.
“What do you mean?”
Chuck glanced at Uloe and then looked straight to Isaac eyes,
“They were the first to get killed in our neighborhood, when the alien
attacked the first hour, they set a spaceship over your home and they
destroyed everything. They melted the house with a ray of light. You
were there. I mean, Isaac was there. You know what I mean!”
Isaac didn’t say anything else, he put his head down and tears
flow out of his eyes, and in a sudden and unexpected voice he cried out,
“Life socks . . . I’m doomed to live with fostered families all my life.”
Isaac sat on the floor and with his arms around his knees, and head
down between them. The boy that never smiles cried like when he lost
his parents two and half years ago.
“I don’t understand,” Chuck said.

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“Master Cunningham and I come from another dimension in


time,” Uloe explained.
“That I understand.”
“His parents were killed in a car crash two years ago,” the little
blond boy sounded like an old man as he explained to Chuck the
situation. “Master Cunningham brought us back in time to stop the car
accident and that changed everything you see here.”
“Like Back to the Future,” Chuck said with a puzzling look on his
face.
“I do not understand,” said Uloe
Isaac was still affected with what just happened, he listened to
Uloe’s explication, but it was as if he failed to comprehend what his
loyal friend what saying. He was all in himself thinking about his
parents and his friend from Peirson, Elisa, Bobby, Jimmie, the Burnsides
and all those people in between. Their lives were now affected by his
actions what he just did in the past, and his quest for happiness. Isaac
knew that he was responsible for something more important than him;
the future of the human kind was in his hands.

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Outside the two story homes the red sky dominated the
environment; a sulfuric smell governed the warm breeze coming from
the south. Everything appeared to be reddish gray. Once in a while a
sound of a flying machine thundered the ransacked house where the
boys shelter from the beastly invaders. Outside the two mechanical
scorpions were ready to move on and with them the long hair Isaac,
which was hanging by his legs outside down by one of the machines
arms.
“There are moving,” Chuck observed as he looks through the
windows. “We need to do something they are going to take him the
pile.” Chuck whispered; he knew that the machines had sensitive ears
and that they could be caught at any minute if they got sloppy.
Isaac didn’t answer, his head pulled him out of the circumstance,
and he was in La-La-Land at that moment. Throughout his head many
things were passing: Melvin Cunningham’s telescope, his mother’s
passion for gardening, their BMW that his father bought and that he
couldn’t afford, were some of the things that made cried again. “Life
socks,” he said a loud.
“Hush,” Chuck whispered at Isaac.

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But, Isaac cared very little about his situation at that moment.
“Life SOCKS,” he shut this time screening from the top of his lungs.
“Jesus, what’re you doin’?” Chuck shouted at Isaac.
A loud rim shrieked outside the two-story-house and the ground
began to tremble with the sound that the gigantic scorpion legs were
producing as they moved forward. The beasts were coming at them.
The other machine stood outside guarding the captivated boy, while his
double moved very fast toward the destroyed house.
Chuck panicked then; he stood up from his kneeling position as
he tried to pull Isaac by his right arm. But Isaac didn’t want to move,
“Let go, Chuck,” he said to his friend, “I don’t care anymore.”
“Master, we need to go,” Uloe urged him.
The wall opened and debris spread everywhere inside the room,
a claw entered the room and took a hold of the young blond boy. Uloe
screened as the machine strangled his waist and pulled him out of the
structure.
“NO,” Isaac howled as he tries to reach for him young alien
friend.

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Chuck fell on the bared floor covered with some small pieces of
glass, metal and wood cloaked in plaster. He lost his conscience at that
moment. Then, almost immediately, another claw entered the room
and took a hold of the young body.
Isaac tried to fight metal arms with he got but he pushed to the
floor by them.
“NO, NO . . .” he kept on shouting, “TAKE ME, TAKE ME . . . I AM
ISAAC CUNNINGHAM, THE ONE YOU ARE LOOKING FOR . . .”
But the machines did not look back; they began to move forward
toward the red skyline. They appeared to have a base somewhere near
the downtown buildings. Isaac was confused, he could not believe that
the beasts took his two friends and let him behind. The only thing he
understood here was that the alien beasts thought that they have him t

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Chapter VIII
Downtown

I
saac lost his compulsion after the beasts dragged his friend away.
The wind picked up in that moment, it was warm and dried.
Something dawdled in the warm breeze; a sulfuric reek was coming
from the east at the same time the sun migrated down to the west. The
skies were lighted from the city’s downtown direction.
The boy that never smile remembered then that he promised
Aloe, his alien friend, that he was going to protect his little platinum
blond friend. Isaac knew that he couldn’t leave without Uloe; he
needed him to be there if he wanted to change back the time-line he
destroyed by saving his parents. Except now, he didn’t know where in
the devil the beastly animals that he hated so much had taken his little
brother.
For a moment Isaac was lost, although he lived in Orlando for
almost his entire life he didn’t have a clue to where he was. The
destruction of the entire subdivision disoriented him, as if a hurricane

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went through the whole town taking the roof of every house in the
neighborhoods.
Isaac knew his cardinal points, and the disturbance was coming
from the east, wish was the direction of Orlando’s downtown.
Something was going on in the middle of the city; something was
burning in huge matter. If he needed to start somewhere, he needed to
start right there where the two machines dragged his three friends too.
“Gosh, how I’m goin’ to get there,” he said to himself. He
needed to walk around ten miles to get to the center of what was left of
the city. Isaac couldn’t see what was ahead of him; he knew that a
great effort almost inhuman was need to get his friends back. It would
be easy for him to go back in time and fix what he had done, but he had
a responsibility with Uloe, he couldn’t leave him behind.
There was not a single soul around the destroyed neighborhood,
as if the beasts gathered every man, woman and child, and sent them to
the moon ship orbiting the earth. Isaac, then, looked up to see if he
could see the dreadful sigh of the read moon, but it wasn’t there the
smoke coming from downtown created a reddish fog that covered the
whole night sky.

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Isaac began to walk, he moved through the damage subdivision


and into what was left from the main road. Wallace Road was in
shambles, the YMCA crumbled under the beast’s attack, the gym roof
was out rooted.
It took Isaac twenty minutes to walk from Dr. Philip Boulevard all
the way through Sand Lake Road. These two roads were the only
landmarks that he was able to recognize, the Gooding’s Plaza was still
there making the corner of the two roads. Everything around the place
was completely destroyed, in crumbles, as if a tornado hit the area with
the force of a category three twister. The little place were the
Walgreen sat.
It took twenty minute to Isaac, to reach Sand Lake through the
decomposed Dr. Philip Blvd. In a wear way the only thing that stood up
was the Wal-green plaza right across the t-shape over the boulevard. He
was heading to downtown and the only way he knew how to get there was
getting on I-4 intersection with Sand Lake. Isaac saw some boys coming
from the pharmacy; they were ransacking what was left from the inventory
of the store.
Isaac ignored the boys; they shouted something at him, a warning
of the source. But Isaac didn’t stop to pay them any attention, he knew
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more about the Ttenbanis and the queen than any man or woman on the
planet, and now he was in a mission. He needed to stop them once and
for all, and he knew that painful things were coming to him in the process,
but the fate of the planet was on the line if he didn’t stop them.
Highway #4 what filled with abandoned cars, some of them burned
and some just left behind, it was as if the TTENBANIS attacked in the
middle of rush hour. Burned corpses inhabited the consumed cars, a mixed
of charcoal bones with black toasted flesh and white teeth. The only thing
that Isaac could compare the scene was with the images of a foreign cable
news T.V. war. Nonetheless, he didn’t focus on the burned corpses there
was a long way to go for him, the Orlando downtown two hours away
walking. He thought in getting one of the abandoned cars but he could not
bring himself to remove any of the death people. “If I get a car I will bring
to much attention to my self,” Isaac thought a loud then.
A small dog came out of one of the cars barking at him, it was a
Golden Retriever, the poor animal was confused and it did not want to
abandon what it looks to be her former master station wagon. Isaac felt
sorry for the animal, she was hungry and lost. This car didn’t have a body
inside and still have the keys connected to the ignition.

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The dog dark at him as he got closer to the yellow 1969 Ford
station wagon, it was a classic, with side panels imitating wood.
“Are you okay?” he asked the dog as he tries to calm her down, the
windows were up and the dogs could not get out of the car. He put his
right hand over the window opening to see if the dog was friendly. “Are
you okay?” he said again, as the dog began to leak his fingers. Isaac, then,
opened the door and the dog jumped out of the old classic station wagon.

“So, you needed to pee,” the boy that never smiles said as he
cracked one this time as he watched the dog peeing for a long period of
time.
The animal observed the boy getting inside of his former owner the
Ford Aurora II station wagon; he wanted to see if it still works. The vehicle
front seat was facing backward, it surprised him of well-kept this one was,
a classic car, in a way he could not see how its owner left it behind with the
dog inside. Something bad really happened for their owners to leave them
dull in the middle of I-4 traffic.
The dog then began to bark at him, as if she didn’t let Isaac go
away. “Where I’m goin’ you don’t need to come,” he told the dog. But the
animal kept on barking at him. He then thought about leaving the animal in

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the middle of I-4, he said, “If you want to come, jump in?” Isaac opened the
passenger front door of the vehicle and let the K-9 jump inside.
This was his second time at the wheel of any vehicle, the last time
he drove the school bus away from the savages shooting arrows at them.
Now he was moving between debris of burned cars and tires, and driving
against the way, with a dog name Mollie on his side. For his second time
as a driver in the conditions he was doing very well, in a way he was not
nervous of what he was going to do. Even though he didn’t know what to
expect from the Ttenbanis and possible the Queen he knew that he was
even readier than before. This time was going to be a battle to end them
for once and for all.
The red sky dominated the Orlando Downtown skyline; the
buildings that once illuminated the nights of the modest city, now were
completely off. A metal sphere placed between the downtown buildings
brightened the area with a reddish glow as if something was being burn
under the giant orb. The beasts located the thing between Orange and
Church avenues right in the center of the downtown. Isaac knew this area
well he used to come with his parents to watch the Magic games. What he
needed to figure out was how to get to the center of the action without

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being discovered by the alien invaders. So his plan was to move through
the less suspected streets of the downtown area.
Isaac crossed the middle of the highway, so he could drive on the
right side of the road. His plan directed him to take Boones avenue, right
behind the Orlando City Hall. He, then, parked the station wagon there, in
the middle of the road. He once saw the city mayor parked his entourage
and vehicles right there where Isaac was parking this time. In a strange
way the mayor’s black S.U.V. was parked in the same spot that day. Isaac
then blocked the vehicles from getting out. At first he thought that he
might get in trouble. But there was not one around to tell him so.
“You better stay here,” he said to the Golden Retriever. He felt
sorry that he was going to leave the animal again inside the station wagon.
Isaac wanted to move incognito through the neighborhood. However, he
wasn’t sure what to do after that.
A metal aluminum sphere ascended some forty stories high from
the ground up. This was not the first time that Isaac set eyes on the thing;
he knew that there was an entrance way right at the zenith of the orb. But
from his perspective he could not put together a plan to get inside the
thing. Isaac was at lost at this point, inside his mind there was a battle, he
knew that if he wanted to change the future he needed to change the past,

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and the focal point for what was happing was his parents’ car crash and
subsequent death. His happiness was at state a lone with the fate of
humanity, Isaac needed to made a decision, save the planet by going back
to that critical point of his life but at the same time lose the chance to be
happy again. “What will Kirk do?” The question came out of his mouth, as
he remembers an episode of the classic Star Trek.
“Silly,” he said to himself. Isaac didn’t care anymore for that
science-fiction genre.
Downtown Orlando was desolated, burned cars and broken
windows permeated the perimeter, news shrouded newspapers flew all
over Orange Ave. Nothing moved around the area, as if an old deserted
western town from the old black and white movies. The images coming to
his head were interrupted when he saw movement between the buildings.
This spooked Isaac, his hands were empty, last time he confronted the
beast he had an extraordinary gadget that could turn into a deathly
weapon.
“Sh . . . sh,” some called him then.
Isaac browsed into the sound direction. A girl was moving her
hands as if she wanted Isaac to follow him. She was tall and slender, and
was wearing a dress, a white long dress, as if she was coming from a high

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school prom party. The girl was nervous; Isaac could tell that she shook
all over. Her dirty dress appeared to be splattered with big blood stains all
over her lap. The strange outfit was tarred in rags as a long white glove on
her left hand accentuated her bizarre appearance. She was blond and tall,
for some reason Isaac taught that she was not smart; her appearance was
of one of those high school girls that are connected to the wrong click.
“Hey . . . boy,” she whispered.
“I’m here,” Isaac whispered back at her. The boy that never smiles,
for some odd reason, cracked a smile as he got a good look of the girl.
“What happened to you?” he asked the girl.
She was behind a group of garbage cams, which she used as cover
shields, from whatever thing was threading her.
“They are coming out, in a few minute,” the girl in the white dress
said to Isaac.
“Who is coming out?”
“The monsters,” she whispered again while a clicking sound came
from the sphere underneath as if a door was opening there.
Isaac ran toward the girl, and pulled her down by her gloved hand.

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The girl in the white dress fell backward on the dirty sidewalk as
she fought to stay upright. “What’re you doin’,” Isaac shouted at the tall
girl, trying to pull her behind the.
“Let go,” she said to him. “They wouldn’t notice me, I swear.”
Isaac dodged between the empty boxes and stag of garbage
cams let unpick, who knows for how long, on the sidewalk. On both
sides of the alley the two abandoned buildings had their glass window
un-touched by the destruction around them.
A five story high and three-legged machine came out from under
the sphere, it placed a foot on the ground and the entire street shook
underneath, the remaining glass windows in the downtown area
shattered as the contraction moved through the narrow street. The
machine never stopped to take a look at the odd couple on the alley
entrance.
“I told you,” said the tall girl. “They don’t pay attention to anyone
one the ground,

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